Skip to main content

Full text of "Caroline, the illustrious : queen-consort of George II, and sometime queen-regent : a study of her life and time"

See other formats







~*^tLee/rL iya 

md- -trie, '-is idee, &f (yM/nuf&rla,na . 

Caroline the Illustrious 

Queen-Consort of George II. and 
sometime Queen-Regent 

A Study of her Life and Time 

W. H. WILKINS, M.A., F.S.A. 






































KING GEORGE II. From the painting by John Shackleton 

in the National Portrait Gallery to face page 14 



SIR ROBERT WALPOLE. From the painting by J. B. Van 

Loo in the National Portrait Gallery .... 46 






FRANCIS EDWARD STUART). From the painting in 
the National Portrait Gallery 146 


JOHN, LORD HERVEY ....... 178 


painting in the National Portrait Gallery ... 194 


painting by Mrs. Hoadley in the National Portrait 
Gallery . 238 






an old print 308 


GEORGE II.) 328 


II.) 348 


i?37 364 






THE news of George the First's death reached 
England four days after he had breathed his last at 
Osnabriick. A messenger, bearing sealed des- 
patches from Lord Townshend, arrived at Sir 
Robert Walpole's house in Arlington Street at noon 
on Wednesday, June i4th. He was told that the 
Prime Minister was at Chelsea, and he at once 
repaired thither. He found the great man at dinner. 
Walpole was thunderstruck at the news, for the old 
King was of so strong a constitution that, despite 
his occasional fainting fits, every one expected him 
to live to a green old age, as his mother had done 
before him. His sudden death, too, might mean the 
end of the Prime Minister's political career. But 
there was no time for vain regrets the King was 
dead, long live the King. So ordering his horse 
to be saddled, Walpole rode off at full speed to 
Richmond, where George Augustus then was, to 
announce the tidings and pay homage to his new- 
Sovereign. The day was hot, and so furiously did 
he ride that he killed, his son tells us, two horses 


between Chelsea and Richmond ; but then his son 
was given to exaggeration. 

Walpole arrived at Richmond Lodge about 
three o'clock, and requested to be shown at once 
into the royal presence. The Duchess of Dorset, 
who was in waiting, said it was impossible, as the 
Prince had undressed and gone to bed after dinner 
according to his custom, and the Princess was rest- 
ing also, and no one dared disturb them. But 
Walpole explained that his business brooked of no 
delay, and the duchess went to wake them. The 
King (as he must now be called), very irate at 
being disturbed, came into the ante-chamber in haste 
with his breeches in his hand he was one of those 
princes who are fated to appear ridiculous even at 
the greatest moments of their lives. Walpole fell 
on one knee, kissed the hand holding the breeches, 
and told his Majesty that his royal sire was dead, 
and he was King of England. " Dat is von big 
lie," shouted King George the Second, as he had 
shouted at the Duke of Roxburgh on a memorable 
occasion some time before. But Walpole, unlike 
the duke, showed no resentment at being given 
the lie, and for all answer produced Townshend's 
despatch, which gave particulars of the late King's 
death. George snatched the letter from him and 
eagerly conned it ; but his face did not relax as he 
read, nor did his manner unbend towards the Prime 
Minister. Walpole uttered some words of formal 
condolence, but they were ungraciously ignored. 
After an awkward pause, he asked the King his 


pleasure with regard to the Accession Council, the 
Proclamation, and other matters necessary to be done 
at once, naturally expecting that he should be com- 
manded to attend to them. " Go to Chiswick, and 
take your directions from Sir Spencer Compton," 
said the King curtly, and turned his back as an 
intimation that the interview was at an end. George 
the Second then went to tell the great news to his 
Queen, and the crestfallen Minister withdrew, to go, 
as ordered, to Compton. 

Walpole's reflections on his ride to Chiswick 
must have been bitter indeed. Well might he ex- 
claim, as his fallen rival, Bolingbroke, had done 
under a similar reverse : " What a world is this and 
how does Fortune banter us ! " For years he had 
been Prime Minister with almost absolute power, 
enjoying to the full the confidence of his Sovereign. 
Suddenly he was stripped of every shred of authority, 
and dismissed (for the King's bidding him go to 
Compton was tantamount to a dismissal) without 
the slightest consideration, like a dishonest servant. 
Walpole knew that George the Second owed him 
a grudge for not having kept his promises at the 
reconciliation, and disliked him, as he disliked all 
who enjoyed the, late King's favour. But the 
Prime Minister hoped that time and Caroline's in- 
fluence would put things right. He did not know 
that Pulteney had repeated certain remarks he had 
incautiously made soon after the reconciliation, when 
Pulteney asked him what terms he had got for 
the Prince of Wales. Walpole answered with a 


sneer: "Why, he is to go to court again, and he 
will have his drums and guards, and such fine 
things ". " But," said Pulteney, " is the Prince to 
be left Regent as he was when the King first left 
England ? " Walpole replied, " Certainly not, he 
does not deserve it, we have done more than 
enough for him ; and if it were to be done again, 
we would not do so much ". 1 George the Second's 
little mind resented slights of this kind more than 
greater wrongs, and he now took his revenge. 

Sir Spencer Compton, to whom the disconcerted 
Minister sadly made his way, had been Speaker 
of the House of Commons, Treasurer of the Prince 
of Wales's Household, and Paymaster of the Army. 
Compton was much more of a courtier than a 
politician. He was a man of the mediocre order 
of ability that often makes a good and safe official ; 
he knew all about forms, procedure, and precedents, 
but he was not a leader of men, and he was quite 
unprepared for, and quite unequal to, the great 
position now thrust upon him. Walpole, who knew 
the man with whom he had to deal, felt towards 
Compton no personal resentment. He acquainted 
him briefly with George the First's death, gave 
him the new King's commands, and added on his 
own behalf: "Everything is in your hands; I 
neither could shake your power if I would, nor 
would if I could. My time has been, yours is 
beginning ; but as we all must depend in some 
degree upon our successors, and as it is always 

1 Pulteney's Answer to an infamous Libel. 


prudent for these successors, by way of example, to 
have some regard for their predecessors, that the 
measure they mete out may be measured to them 
again for this reason I put myself under your pro- 
tection, and for this reason I expect you will give it. 
I desire no share of power or business, one of your 
white sticks, 1 or any employment of that sort, is all 
I ask, as a mark from the Crown that I am not 
abandoned to the enmity of those whose envy is the 
only source of their hate." 2 

Though Compton was astonished at the news, 
he did not conceal his delight at the unexpected 
honour that had fallen upon him. Walpole's speech 
flattered his vanity, and perhaps also touched his 
heart ; he grandiloquently promised him his pro- 
tection, and, thinking he had nothing to fear from 
the fallen statesman, took him into his confidence 
and consulted him as to how he should proceed. 
The two Ministers then drove together to Devonshire 
House to see the Duke of Devonshire, President of 
the Council, and arrange for an immediate meeting 
of the Privy Council. At forms Compton was an 
adept, but when it came to the speech that had to 
be put into the King's mouth he was nonplussed. 
He took Walpole aside, and asked him, as he 
had composed all the speeches of the late King, 
to compose this one also. Walpole pretended to 
demur, but as Compton persisted, he consented and 
withdrew to a private room in Devonshire House 

1 The officers of the Royal Household carried white wands. 

2 Hervey's Memoirs. 


to draft the speech, while Compton set off to do 
homage to the King and Queen. Walpole must 
have chuckled over his task, for if the precedent- 
loving Compton had only consulted the back folios 
of the Gazette he would have found plenty of models 
for the King's speech ; but he was so fussed with 
forms and ceremonies, and so elated with the sense 
of his new importance, that he was incapable of 
thinking coherently. 

The King and Queen had driven up from Rich- 
mond in the afternoon, and were now arrived at 
Leicester House. The great news had spread 
abroad, and all London was flocking to Leicester 
Fields. When Compton arrived there, the square 
was so thronged with peopl* who had assembled to 
cheer their Majesties that the coaches and chairs 
of the mighty, who were hurrying to pay their court, 
could scarce make way through the crowd. Inside 
Leicester House the walls were already hung with 
purple and black, and the Queen appeared in " black 
bombazine " ; but these were the only signs of 
mourning, all else wore an aspect of rejoicing and 
congratulation. The new King and Queen held a 
court, the rooms were thronged with the great 
nobility and high officials, and persons of divers 
parties and creeds struggled up and down the stairs, 
all anxious to kiss their Majesties' hands, and to 
profess their loyalty and devotion. The Queen, 
who had a keen sense of irony, must have smiled 
to herself when she contrasted the crowded rooms 
before her with the thinly attended receptions which 


Leicester House (except on great occasions such as 
birthdays) had witnessed during the past few years. 

This was the proudest hour of Caroline's life. 
She had reached the summit of her ambition, she 
had become Queen. But the mere show of 
sovereignty did not content her, she was deter- 
mined to be the power behind the throne greater 
than the throne. It was not enough for her that 
she had become Queen through her husband, she 
was determined to rule through him also. Did this 
inscrutable woman, we wonder, in this her hour of 
glory, recall the parallel Leibniz had drawn long be- 
fore, when the prospects of the House of Hanover 
were darkest, between her and England's greatest 
Queen, Elizabeth ? May-be, for, like Elizabeth, Caro- 
line determined to have her Cecil. She knew there 
was but one man in England capable of maintaining 
the Hanoverian dynasty upon the throne in peace, 
and that one was Walpole. She had been dismayed 
when the King told her that he had sent for Comp- 
ton, for she knew Compton's weakness. But, like 
a wise woman she did not attempt to thwart her 
husband in the first heat of his resentment against 
his father's favourite minister, who had been, willingly 
or unwillingly, the late King's mouthpiece for many 
slights to him, and perhaps, too, she thought it would 
be good for Walpole to be taught a lesson. She 
bided her time. 

Compton at once had audience of the King. 
When he came out from the royal closet he 
walked across the courtyard to his coach between 


lines of bowing and fawning courtiers, all anxious 
to bask in the rays of the rising sun. They knew 
full well what this audience portended. Compton, 
greatly flattered by this homage, drove back to 
Devonshire House, where he found that the man 
whom he had superseded had finished the King's 
speech. Compton was graciously pleased to approve 
the draft ; he took it and copied it in his own hand- 
writing. He then again repaired to Leicester House 
to present it to the King. On this occasion he was 
accompanied by the Duke of Devonshire and other 
privy councillors, including Walpole, who were to 
be present at the Accession Council. George the 
Second liked the speech well enough, but found 
fault with one paragraph and desired that it should 
be altered. Compton wished it to stand, for he knew 
not how to change it, but the King was obdurate 
and very testy at being opposed. Compton was 
then so incredibly foolish, from the point of view of 
his own interest, as to ask Walpole to go to the 
King's closet and see what he could do. Walpole 
went, nothing loath, and improved the occasion by 
declaring to the King his willingness to serve him 
either in or out of office. This was the Queen's 
opportunity. According to some, it was she who 
suggested that Walpole should be sent for ; she 
certainly suggested to the King that perhaps he 
had been a little hasty, and it would be bad for his 
affairs to employ a man like Compton, who had 
already shown himself inferior in ability to the 
Minister whom he was to succeed. But Caroline 


could do no more at this juncture than suggest, 
and leave the leaven to work in the King's mind. 
George the Second held his Accession Council 
that same night at Leicester House. He read his 
speech to his faithful councillors in which he lamented 
"the sudden and unexpected death of the King, my 
dearest father," he spoke of his " love and affection " 
for England and declared his intention of preserv- 
ing the laws and liberties of the kingdom, and 
upholding the constitution as it stood. If he felt 
any relenting towards Walpole it was not visible in 
his manner. Compton took the first place, and the 
man who had hitherto dominated the councils of the 
King, and was still nominally Prime Minister, was 
completely ignored by the new Sovereign. The 
office-seekers were not slow to follow the lead. For 
the next few days Leicester House was crowded 
every day, but whenever Walpole appeared the 
courtiers shrank away from him as though he had 
the plague. Walpole himself, though he knew the 
utter weakness of Compton, had no hope of being 
continued in office, and hourly expected to receive 
the King's command to give up the seals. " I shall 
certainly go out," he said to his friend Sir William 
Yonge, after the Council, " but let me advise you 
not to go into violent opposition, as we must soon 
come in again." Yonge quickly had experience of 
going out, for he was dismissed the next day, the 
King had always hated him and called him " stink- 
ing Yonge " ; Lord Malpas, Walpole's son-in-law, 
was dismissed also. But the public announcement 


of the Prime Minister's dismissal tarried unaccount- 
ably unaccountably that is to those who were 
not behind the scenes. 

The Queen's influence was now beginning to 
tell. At first she persuaded the King to delay, for 
she knew that if he delayed he would reflect, and 
if he reflected he would change his mind. She 
reminded him of the trouble a change of Ministers 
would involve before he was comfortably seated on 
the throne, and she knew the King hated trouble. 
The King objected to Walpole's notorious greed 
for gold, but the Queen met this by saying that, 
with so many opportunities of amassing wealth, he 
must by this time have become so rich that he 
would want no more, and this, in a lesser degree, 
applied to his colleagues. " The old leeches," she 
cynically added, "will not be so hungry as the new 
ones, and will know their business much better." 
The critical situation of foreign affairs was another 
of the arguments used by the Queen in favour of 
Walpole, for no one had the same grasp of the 
tangled skeins of foreign policy as he. The 
European courts, which did not understand the 
working of the English Constitution, might be- 
come alarmed at a sudden change of Ministry 
and imagine that it foretold a change in England's 
foreign policy, thus creating a general distrust, 
which would be dangerous to the reigning dynasty, 
more especially as there was always the fear of 
secret negotiations going on between James and 
the Roman Catholic courts of Europe. This was 


particularly true of France, with whom it was of the 
utmost importance to maintain good relations at the 
present juncture. Whilst Caroline was thus argu- 
ing, as luck would have it, Horace Walpole, the 
Prime Minister's brother, who was ambassador to 
France, arrived in England with a letter which his 
diplomacy had obtained from Cardinal de Fleury, 
pledging his master to maintain the treaties France 
had entered into with the late King, and to show 
goodwill towards George and ill-will to James. All 
these considerations told. But the most cogent argu- 
ment which the Queen urged, and the one which had 
undoubtedly the most weight with the King, was 
the settlement of the Civil List. The new Civil 
List, Caroline reminded the King, was pressing, 
but a change of Ministers was not. There was 
nobody so able as Walpole to secure for them a 
handsome increase of the Civil List, for, as the old 
King said, he "could turn stones into gold". Why 
then let private resentment lead to personal incon- 
venience ? 

Nothing was done during the King's stay at 
Leicester House, and in the eyes of the world 
Compton was still first in the King's favour. At 
the end of the week the Court moved to Kensington, 
and by that time the Queen had worked so well that 
the King sent for Walpole, and asked him about the 
Civil List. The new monarch mentioned a sum 
so large that Walpole was staggered, accustomed 
though he was to Hanoverian rapacity ; but he 
showed nothing of his feeling in his face, and pro- 


mised to do his utmost to serve his Majesty. He 
then had an audience of the Queen, who confided to 
him that Compton's estimate had by no means satis- 
fied the King's demands, and he had proposed that 
she should have only a poor .60,000 a year. 
Walpole at once grasped the situation. He de- 
clared that he would obtain a jointure for her 
Majesty of ; 100,000 a year, which was ,40,000 
more than Compton had proposed, and he would force 
Parliament to meet the King's wishes. It was said 
that Walpole bought his influence with the Queen for 
this extra .40,000 a year, but that was not wholly 
true. Quite apart from money, Caroline had wit 
enough to see that the interests of the House of 
Hanover could best be served by Walpole, and of 
all English statesmen he was the one who could 
most be trusted to frustrate the Jacobites for the 
rival claims of the Stuarts were an ever present 
danger to the Hanoverian family until 1745. She 
was, of course, not averse to receiving something 
in return for her support, and Walpole, it must be 
admitted, paid, or rather made the nation pay, for 
it handsomely. In addition to the Queen's .100,000 
a year, Somerset House and Richmond Lodge were 
made over to her. Her income was double what 
any queen-consort had enjoyed before, and more 
than any has been granted since. 

Walpole now realised that all that lay between 
him and power was a question of money. He there- 
fore went next morning to the King with carefully 
prepared estimates. He proposed that his Majesty's 


From the Painting by John Shackleton in the National Portrait Gallery. 


Civil List should consist primarily of the ,700,000 a 
year paid to the late King ; ,100,000 more, which 
had been paid directly to the Prince of Wales in the 
last reign, but which would now be vested in the , 
King to make what allowance he pleased to his 
eldest son ; and a further increase of ,130,000 a year 
arising out of certain funds. In all, therefore, the 
King would receive the enormous sum of more 
than ,900,000 a year. This George agreed 
to, for though he would have liked more, he had 
the sense to see that it was impossible to get it. 
The Queen had impressed upon him that Walpole 
was the only man who could carry such a large 
increase through the House of Commons. Pulteney 
and other Opposition politicians were ready to promise 
more to gain office, but their promises were nothing 
worth, for they had neither the ability nor the power 
to carry a large grant through Parliament. The 
King therefore took Walpole by the hand, and said 
that he had considered the matter, and intended 
to continue him in office on the understanding that 
he would carry through the Civil List, at the sum 
named. He added significantly : " Consider, Sir 
Robert, what makes me easy in this matter will 
prove for your ease too ; it is for my life it is to be 
fixed, and it is for your life ". 

Matters thus being settled, the Queen that 
night at the drawing-room made known her ap- 
proval of Walpole in a characteristic manner. Lady 
Walpole had come to court to pay her respects to 
the King and Queen, but she could not make her 


way to the royal dais, for the lords and ladies turned 
their backs on the wife of the fallen Minister (as 
they considered him), and refused to yield her place. 
By dint of much struggling she managed to reach 
the third row, where she was espied by the Queen, 
who, beckoning to her, called out : " There, I 
am sure, I see a friend ". The crowd in front im- 
mediately divided, and Lady Walpole performed 
her obeisance in the sight of the wondering court. 
The King and Queen smiled, and chatted with her 
some little time. All the courtiers noted it, and, 
" as I came away," said Lady Walpole afterwards, 
" I might have walked over their heads had I 
pleased ". Thus Compton's brief dream of author- 
ity vanished, and Walpole's tenure in power was 
assured. The crowd of placemen who had sur- 
rounded Compton transferred their attentions once 
more to Walpole, and the former was now as much 
deserted as the latter had been. The most 
extraordinary part of the whole affair was that, 
though Compton's friends, chief among whom were 
Mrs. Howard, the Duke of Argyll and Lord 
Chesterfield, were plunged into despondency by 
his fall, Compton himself heeded little these vicissi- 
tudes, and was content to be given, by way of 
compensation, a place about the court, the garter, 
and a peerage under the title of Earl of Wilmington. 
If the man had not been such a fool, he might 
almost have passed for a philosopher. 

When Parliament met a week later it was seen 
by all the world that Walpole retained his old place. 


It was Walpole who proposed and carried through 
Parliament the bloated Civil List. Such was the 
Minister's power that no one in the House of 
Commons dared raise his voice against it except 
Shippen the Jacobite, who was known as " Down- 
right Shippen " for his outspokenness. He had 
been sent to the Tower in 1717 for proclaiming in 
the House of Commons the obvious truth that 
George the First " was a stranger to our language 
and constitution " ; yet, avowed Jacobite though 
Shippen remained, Walpole never repeated this 
error. Walpole had a great respect for him and used 
to say he was the only man in Parliament whose 
price he did not know. Shippen on his part de- 
clared : " Robin and I are two honest men, he is 
for King George and I am for King James, but 
these men in long cravats only desire place under 
King George or King James ". Parliament, having 
duly passed the Civil List, was dissolved by the 
King in person, who had one great advantage over 
his father in that he was able to read his speeches 
in English, albeit with a broad German accent. 
Walpole now had it all his own way. All the old 
King's Ministers were kept in office, even the Duke 
of Newcastle whom the King had especially hated- 
all, that is, except Lord Berkeley, who was forced 
to resign in consequence of the Queen having found 
in the late King's cabinet a paper (of which mention 
has already been made) containing a plan to kidnap 
the Prince of Wales and send him off to America. 
Berkeley, who had drawn up the document, found 

VOL. II. 2 


it convenient to withdraw to the Continent No 
other changes of importance were made. Malpas 
was reinstated ; Yonge had to remain out of office 
for a little time longer, but was eventually given 
a small post. 

The Jacobites had always expected that the 
death of George the First would, in some way, 
benefit the Stuart cause in what way it is not 
clear, for George the Second when Prince of 
Wales was less unpopular than his father. But 
the Jacobites hugged the hope that the death of 
the first Hanoverian king would plunge the country 
into confusion, and so it might have done, if 
George the First had not been so inconsiderate 
as to die at a moment when the Jacobites were 
in great confusion themselves. For the last two or 
three years James's little court had been distracted 
by internal jealousies and intrigues. Lord Mar, 
who superseded Bolingbroke, had, notwithstanding 
all his services, been superseded by Hay, whom 
James appointed his Secretary of State and created 
Earl of Inverness. Hay had a wife, who shared in 
these barren honours, which, it was said, she had done 
much to win. Her brother, Murray, James created 
Earl of Dunbar. This trio, of whom the lady was 
the most arrogant, entirely governed James, who, 
like a true Stuart, was swayed by favourites. They 
created great dissatisfaction at his court. It was 
not long before his consort, Clementina, who was 
a princess of great beauty and virtue, but extremely 
high-spirited, had cause to complain of the insolence 


of Inverness and his wife. It was said that Lady 
Inverness was James's mistress, and colour was lent 
to the rumour by the fact that Clementina insisted 
upon her dismissal from her court. James refused, 
and she withdrew from her husband's palace and 
retired to the convent of St. Cecilia at Rome. A 
long correspondence ensued between James and 
Clementina, but she declined to return unless Lady 
Inverness was dismissed, and so brought about a 
virtual separation. This domestic scandal did great 
harm to the Stuart cause among the Roman Catholic 
princes of Europe, all of whom warmly espoused 
Clementina's side. The Emperor, who was her 
kinsman, was highly displeased, the Queen of Spain, 
who was her friend, was indignant, the Jacobites 
in England were divided amongst themselves, and 
in Scotland James's followers fell off everywhere in 
numbers and in zeal. The strongest representations 
were made to James from every side, but for a long 
time he turned a deaf ear to them all. At last, after 
protracted negotiations, he accepted Inverness's 
resignation and Lady Inverness went with her hus- 
band. Clementina agreed to leave her convent and 
rejoin her husband who was then at Bologna. She 
was actually on the road when the news arrived of 
George the First's death. Immediately all domestic 
considerations were swallowed up in the political 
necessities of the moment. 

Seeing the advisability of being nearer England 
at this crisis, James set out from Bologna on the 
pretext of meeting his consort, but turning back 


half-way, he posted with all speed to Lorraine. As 
soon as he arrived at Nancy in Lorraine he sent a 
messenger to Atterbury, who was acting as his 
agent in Paris, another to Lord Orrery, his agent 
in London, and a third to Lockhart at Liege, who 
was acting as his agent for Scotland. James had 
no lack of courage, and was anxious to set out 
for the Highlands at once, though he had neither 
a settled scheme nor promise of foreign aid. But 
the news he received from the north of the Tweed 
was discouraging, and the despatches from Eng- 
land were worse. Lord Strafford wrote to him a 
saying that the tide in favour of the " Prince and 
Princess of Hanover," as he called them, was too 
strong at present for the Jacobites to resist, and it 
would be better to wait until dissatisfaction broke 
out again, which he anticipated would not be long. 
" I am convinced," he wrote, "that the same violent 
and corrupt measures taken by the father will be 
pursued by the son, who is passionate, proud, and 
peevish, and though he talks of ruling by himself, 
he will just be governed as his father was. But his 
declarations that he will make no distinction of 
parties, and his turning off the Germans make him 
popular at present." Strafford, like many others, 
made the mistake of leaving Queen Caroline out of 
his calculations. 

It was impossible for James to stay in Lorraine, 
for the French Government, at the instigation of 
Walpole, ordered the Duke of Lorraine to expel the 

x The Earl of Strafford to James, 2ist June, 1727. 


" Pretender " from his territory. The duke, who was 
only a vassal of France, was forced to obey, and urged 
his unwelcome guest to leave Lorraine within three 
days. So James withdrew under protest. " In my 
present situation," he wrote to Atterbury, " I cannot 
pretend to do anything essential for my interest, and 
all that remains is that the world should see that 
I have done my part." 1 It must be admitted that 
he was ready to do it bravely. 

James first sought refuge in the Papal State of 
Avignon, but here again the relentless English 
Government, acting through the French, managed to 
hunt him out, and the following year the heir of our 
Stuart Kings was forced to return a fugitive to Italy. 
He was joined by Clementina and afterwards lived 
harmoniously with her. Unfortunate in all else, 
James was at least fortunate in his consort, for all 
authorities unite in praising her grace and goodness, 
her talents and charity. 

The immediate danger of a Jacobite rising was 
thus warded off, but so long as James and his two 
sons lived the House of Hanover could not enjoy 
undisputed title to the throne of England. In 
these early days, as Caroline knew well, it behoved 
the princes of the new dynasty to walk warily and 
court the popular goodwill, for there was always 
an alternative king in James, who by a turn of 
Fortune's wheel might find himself upon the throne 
of his fathers. Though the official world and most 
of those in high places were all for the Hanoverian 

1 James to Atterbury, gth August, 1727. 


succession, and though Walpole had the means to 
corrupt members of Parliament and buy constituen- 
cies as he would, yet the heart of the people remained 
very tender towards the exiled royal family and felt 
a profound compassion for their misfortunes. 

The excitement consequent on the new reign 
continued for some months, and the King, not 
having had time to make himself enemies, was, 
to outward semblance, popular. A good deal was 
due to interested motives. The court was crowded 
with personages struggling for place. Lord Orrery 
wrote to James inveighing bitterly against " the 
civility, ignorance and poor spirit of our nobility 
and gentry, striving who shall sell themselves at the 
best price to the court, but resolved to sell them- 
selves at any ". Yet he is constrained to add : 
" There do not appear to be many discontented 
people V Pope, too, who was now quite out of favour 
at court, wrote to a friend that the new reign " has 
put the whole world into a new state ; but," he adds 
enviously, "the only use I have, shall, or wish to 
make of it, is to observe the disparity of men from 
themselves in a week's time ; desultory leaping and 
catching of new modes, new manners and that 
strong spirit of life with which men, broken and dis- 
appointed, resume their hopes, their solicitations, 
their ambitions". The political Jeremiahs of the 
time bewailed the wholesale trafficking in places, 
and the universal corruption. The King himself 
did not set a high example of public or private 

1 Lord Orrery to James, August, 1727. 


honesty ; he had wrung the highest sum he could 
from Parliament for his Civil List, and at one of his 
early Councils he distinguished himself by an act 
which can only be described as dishonest. The 
timid and time-serving Archbishop of Canterbury, 
old Dr. Wake, produced the late King's will, 
which had been entrusted to him, and handed it to 
George, fully expecting him to open it and read 
it to the Council. The King took it without a 
word, put it into his pocket, and walked out of the 
room. The Archbishop was so taken aback at 
this proceeding, that neither he nor the other 
privy councillors present raised a word in protest. 
George probably burnt the will after reading it, 
in. any case it was never seen again. But the old 
King, who probably feared that some such fate 
would befall his testament, had taken the precaution 
to make a second copy, which he entrusted to the 
safe keeping of his cousin, the Duke of Wolfenbiittel. 
The duke soon intimated this fact to the new King 
of England, and at the same time hinted that he 
had no wish to make matters disagreeable (which 
he could easily do if he wished, for the King and 
Queen of Prussia were furious), if his silence 
were made worth his while. George took the 
hint, and despatched a messenger to Wolfenbuttel 
promising the duke a subsidy. In return the 
messenger brought back the duplicate of the will, 
and this too was destroyed. 

The only excuse that can be urged for the King's 
conduct, which probably defrauded among others his 


sister, the Queen of Prussia, and his son Prince 
Frederick, was that George the First had treated the 
will of his consort, Sophie Dorothea of Celle, in the 
same way, to the detriment, it was suspected, of both 
his son and his daughter. George the Second also, 
when Electoral Prince of Hanover, had reason to be- 
lieve that his father had unjustly deprived him of a 
substantial inheritance which had been left him by 
his maternal grandfather, the Duke of Celle. The 
burning of wills seems to have been a peculiarity 
of the Hanoverian family at this time, for a year 
or two later, Frederick, Prince of Wales, accused 
his father of destroying the will of his uncle 
Ernest Augustus Duke of York and Bishop of 
Osnabriick. He died a year after his brother, 
George the First, and both Prince Frederick and 
the Queen of Prussia declared that they would have 
largely benefited by his death had it not been for the 
chicanery of George the Second. Queen Caroline 
always stoutly denied this imputation, and main- 
tained that the Duke of York had nothing to leave, 
except ,50,000 which he left to his nephew King 
George, and his jewels which he bequeathed to 
his niece the Queen of Prussia, to whom they were 
immediately sent. But neither the King nor the 
Queen of Prussia were satisfied with this explana- 
tion, and they also had a further dispute with 
George about the French possessions of his mother, 
Sophie Dorothea, which she had inherited through 
her mother, Eleonore d'Olbreuse, who was de- 
scended from an ancient Huguenot family of Poitou. 


The person who probably lost most by the de- 
struction of George the First's will was the Duchess 
of Kendal, but she did not venture to lift her voice in 
protest. George the Second no doubt felt that she 
had amassed more than she deserved during the late 
King's lifetime, and if he allowed her to remain in 
peaceable possession of her plunder it was as much 
as she had any right to expect. The duchess 
seems to have thought so too, but her daughter, 
Lady Walsingham, who was also the late King's 
daughter, was not so complaisant. When a few 
years later Lord Chesterfield married her in the 
belief that she was a great heiress (in which hope he 
was disappointed), she confided to him that George 
the First had left her ,40,000 in his will, which 
had never been paid. Lord Chesterfield, who was 
then out of favour at court and had no hope of 
regaining it, instituted, or threatened to institute, 
legal proceedings to recover the legacy. The case 
never came into court, for half the sum, ,20,000, was 
offered, and accepted, as a compromise. 

The aged Duchess of Kendal was the only 
person in the world who really mourned the late 
King. Within a week of his death George the First 
was as completely forgotten as though he had never 
been ; the only reminder of his reign was the official 
mourning. The Duchess of Kendal had accom- 
panied him on his last journey, but, being indisposed 
by the sea voyage, she had tarried at the Hague a day 
to recover, and, like Lord Townshend, was follow- 
ing the King on the road to Hanover, when a 


messenger rode up to her coach with the tidings of 
his death. The duchess was overwhelmed with 
grief; she beat her breast, tore her hair, and rent 
the air with her cries. But her sorrow did not get 
the better of her prudence, for, not being sure of the 
reception that awaited her from the new King, she 
resolved to remove herself from his Hanoverian 
dominions, and repaired to the neighbouring territory 
of Wolfenbiittel. Her fears proved to be ground- 
less, for Queen Caroline harboured towards the 
ex-mistress no feelings of ill-will, and it followed 
that the King did not either. On the contrary, 
Caroline had liked the duchess, who, unlike Lady 
Darlington, was no mischief-maker, and had person- 
ally interceded with George the First, though un- 
successfully, to restore her children to the Princess. 
Moreover she was such an old-established institution 
that Caroline had come to look upon her almost in 
the light of the late King's wife. The Queen 
wrote the following letter to her within a fortnight 
of George the First's death : 

" KENSINGTON, June 2^th, 1727. 

" My first thought, my dear Duchess, has been 
of you in the misfortune that has befallen us ; I 
know well your devotion and love for the late King, 
and I fear for your health ; only the resignation which 
you have always shown to the divine will can 
sustain you under such a loss. I wish I could con- 
vey to you how much I feel for you, and how 
anxious I am about your health, but it is impossible 
for me to do so adequately. I cannot tell you how 


greatly this trouble has affected me. I had the honour 
of knowing the late King, you know that to know 
him was sufficient to make one love him also. I 
know that you always tried to render good service 
to the King (George II.) ; he knows it too, and will 
remember it himself to you by letter. I hope you 
realise that I am your friend, it is my pleasure and 
my duty to remind you of the fact and to tell you 
that I and the King will always be glad to do all we 
can to help you. Write to me, I pray you, and give 
me an opportunity to show how much I love you. 

It is impossible to accept literally these expres- 
sions of affection. Allowing for exaggeration they 
do credit to Caroline's heart, but the letter was 
probably dictated as much by prudence as by 
sympathy, for the Duchess of Kendal was then at 
Wolfenbuttel, and the Duke of Wolfenbiittel had 
the duplicate of the late King's will. Caroline was 
anxious to avoid a family scandal, for she knew by 
experience how bad these things were for the 
dynasty, and in the negotiations which passed 
between George the Second and the duke it is 
probable that the Duchess of Kendal played a 
part, though it is improbable that she received any 
portion of the subsidy. That matters were amicably 
arranged is shown by the fact that a few months 
later the duchess returned to England, and took up 
her abode at Kendal House, Twickenham, where 
she lived in comfortable retirement until the end of 


her days. She no longer appeared at court, but 
the King and Queen would never permit her to be 
molested in any way so she may be said to have 
enjoyed their protection. She made a cult of her 
George's memory, dressing always as a widow and 
wearing the deepest weeds. She was of a pious, not 
to say superstitious, turn of mind, and declared that 
George the First had told her that his devotion was 
so great that he would return to her even after death. 
So one day when a raven hopped in at the window 
the bereaved duchess took it into her head that this 
was the reincarnation of the dead King. She captured 
the bird, put it into a golden cage, kept it always 
by her, and provided for it in her will. Her death 
took place in 1743, at the advanced age of eighty- 
five years. Her wealth was divided among her 
German relations, and Kendal House was converted 
into a tea garden and afterwards pulled down. 

2 9 



GEORGE THE FIRST was buried at Herrenhausen in 
accordance with his expressed wish. His funeral 
did not take place until some three months aftei 
his death, and the new King was represented at 
it by his uncle the Duke of York. His decision 
not to go to Hanover for his father's obsequies 
gave rise to much satisfaction in England, and this 
combined with his summary dismissal of the Han- 
overian favourites was quoted as, a proof of his 
English predilections. 

The court mourning came to an end soon after 
the funeral, and preparations were pushed forward 
with all speed for the coronation. George the 
Second determined that it should be a pageant 
from which no splendid detail was missing. The 
King and Queen ordered robes of extraordinary rich- 
ness, but Caroline was badly off for jewels. Queen 
Anne had possessed a great number of beautiful 
gems, but Schulemburg, Kielmansegge, and the other 
German favourites had so despoiled Anne's jewel- 
chest, that nothing was left for the new Queen but 
a solitary pearl necklace. Caroline, however, rose 
to the occasion and gathered together for the coro- 


nation not only all her personal jewels which went 
to make her crown, but many more. When the 
great day arrived she appeared, we are told, wearing 
"on her head and shoulders all the pearls she could 
borrow from ladies of quality from one end of the 
town, and on her petticoat all the diamonds she 
could hire of the Jews and jewellers at the other ". 

The coronation of King George the Second 
and Queen Caroline took place on October iith, 
1727, with all the solemnity suitable for the occasion, 
and more than the usual magnificence. The day 
was gloriously fine, and multitudes of people lined 
the gaily decorated streets. Caroline was the first 
Queen Consort to be crowned at Westminster 
Abbey since Anne of Denmark, consort of James 
the First, from whose daughter Elizabeth the 
House of Hanover derived its title to the British 
Crown. The coincidence was hailed as a propitious 
omen. The Queens-Consort subsequent to Anne 
of Denmark had been Roman Catholics, and Anne 
and Mary the Second were Queens- Regnant. Caro- 
line was determined that she would not be relegated 
to the background, and, so far as circumstances 
permitted, the ceremonial at this coronation followed 
more closely that of William and Mary than 
of James the First and Anne of Denmark. Yet 
Mary was a Queen- Regnant who placed all her 
power in her husband's hands ; Caroline was a 
Queen-Consort who took all her power from her 
husband's hands. No two women could be more 


On the day of the coronation the King and 
Queen set out from St. James's Palace before nine 
o'clock in the morning. The King went to West- 
minster Hall direct. The Queen, who put on 
everything new for the occasion "even to her shift," 
was carried down through St. James's Park in her 
chair to Black Rod's Room in the House of Lords. 
There she was vested in her state robes, and waited 
until the officials came to escort her to Westminster 
Hall. She took her place there by the King's side at 
the upper end of the hall, seated like him in a chair 
of state under a golden canopy ; the Queen's chair 
was to the left of the King's. The ceremony of pre- 
senting the sword and spurs was then gone through, 
and the Dean and Canons of Westminster arrived 
from the Abbey bearing the Bible and part of the re- 
galia. The King's regalia was St. Edward's crown, 
borne upon a cushion of cloth of gold, the orb with 
the cross, the sceptre with the dove, the sceptre with 
the cross, and St. Edward's staff. The Queen's 
regalia consisted of her crown, her sceptre with the 
cross, and the ivory rod with the dove. All these 
were severally presented to their Majesties, and 
then delivered to the lords who were commissioned 
to bear them. 

At noon a procession on foot was formed 
from Westminster Hall to the Abbey. A way had 
been raised for the purpose, floored with boards, 
covered with blue cloth, and railed on either side. 
The procession was headed by a military band, 
and began with the King's herb woman and her 


maids who strewed flowers and sweet herbs. It was 
composed in order of precedence from the smallest 
officials (even the organ blower was not forgotten) 
up to the great officers of state. The peers and 
peeresses wearing their robes of state and carry- 
ing their coronets in their hands walked in this 
procession in order mete, from the barons and 
baronesses up to the dukes and duchesses. The 
Lord Privy Seal, the Archbishop of York and the 
Lord High Chancellor followed. Then, after an 
interval of a few paces came the Queen, preceded 
by her crown which was borne by the Duke of St. 
Albans. The Queen was supported on either side 
by the Bishops of Winchester and London, and she 
majestically walked alone " in her royal robes of 
purple velvet, richly furred with ermine, having a 
circle of gold set with large jewels upon her Ma- 
jesty's head, going under a canopy borne by the 
Barons of the Cinque Ports, forty gentlemen pen- 
sioners going on the outsides of the canopy, and the 
Serjeants of arms attending 'V The Queen's train 
was borne by the Princess Royal and the Princesses 
Amelia and Caroline, who were vested in purple 
robes of state, with circles on their heads ; their 
coronets were borne behind them by three peers. 
The princesses were followed by the four ladies of 
the Queen's Household, the Duchess of Dorset, the 

111 A. particular account of the solemnities used at the Corona- 
tion of His Sacred Majesty King George II. and of his Royal Consort 
Queen Caroline on Wednesday the nth October, 1727," London, 
1760. From the pamphlet the other particulars of the coronation 
are taken. 


Countess of Sussex, Mrs. Herbert and Mrs. Howard. 
Immediately after the Queen's procession came the 
Bishop of Coventry bearing the Holy Bible on a 
velvet cushion. Then, under a canopy of cloth of 
gold, walked "His Sacred Majesty, King George 
II., in his royal robes of crimson velvet, furred with 
ermine and bordered with gold lace, wearing on his 
head a cap of estate of crimson velvet, adorned with 
large jewels, and turned up with ermine". The 
King was supported on either side by bishops, and 
his train was borne by four eldest sons of noblemen 
and the Master of the Robes, and he was followed by 
a numerous and splendid company of officials. At 
the great west door of the Abbey the procession 
was met by the Archb shop of Canterbury, the Dean 
of Westminster and other ecclesiastical dignitaries. 
It moved slowly up the nave to the singing of an 

The King and Queen seated themselves on 
chairs of state, facing the altar, and the coronation 
service, which is really an interpolation in the office 
of Holy Communion, began. The Archbishop pro- 
ceeded with the Communion service until the Nicene 
Creed, after which a special sermon was preached by 
the Bishop of Oxford. The sermon over, the King 
subscribed the Declaration against Transubstantia- 
tion and took the Coronation Oath. 

The King then approached the altar, and knelt 
to be crowned. He was anointed by the Archbishop 
of Canterbury upon his head, his breast, and the 

palms of his hands. He was presented with the spurs, 
VOL. n. 3 


girt with the sword, and vested with the armills and 
the imperial pall ; the orb with the cross was placed in 
his left hand, and the ring was put upon the fourth 
finger of his right hand. The Archbishop also 
delivered to the kneeling King the sceptre with the 
cross, and the rod with the dove, and, assisted by 
the other bishops present, "put the crown reverently 
upon His Majesty's head, at which sight all the 
spectators repeated their loud shouts, the trumpets 
sounded, and upon a signal given the great guns in 
the Park and the Tower were fired. The peers 
then put on their coronets." When the shouts 
ceased the Archbishop proceeded with the divine 
office. He delivered the Bible to the King and 
read the benedictions. "His Majesty was there- 
upon pleased to kiss the Archbishops and Bishops 
as they knelt before him one after another." Then 
the Te Deum was sung and the King was lifted 
upon his throne and the peers did their homage. 
During this ceremony medals of gold were given 
to the peers and peeresses, and medals of silver 
were thrown among the congregation. 

The Queen now advanced for her coronation. 
** Her Majesty, supported by the Bishops of London 
and Winchester, knelt at the steps of the altar, and, 
being anointed with the holy oil on the head and 
breasts, and receiving the ring, the Archbishop 
reverently set the crown upon her Majesty's head, 
whereupon the three princesses and the peeresses 
put on their coronets, and her Majesty having 
received the sceptre with the cross and the 

sfjs. c 7 ,/ t/if I. \-suit: ,-' WAS ;r. V/AV //./ JfA 1 1. , ^'/1,-n-itM fan- the; ,/w 
n -M tfir .\'<< mi.i / r ,mU t-tftsrj,'r^fJ)f.vA'f.n. </; t/te-Day ./ M<- ( uroiuii. 
r ,/"//;,- fluinii>j<iii.< f><-r r.-nmha rf>t ter,'rm-nv >>r 'lialli-iK> /i-/i,i>c 1/1? A r.V<: \ , nv >,', 
Vii,,,,,- J-/i f .*../, laM&mSagdAra. 



ivory rod with the dove, was conducted to her 

The King and Queen then made their oblations 
and received the Holy Communion. 

When the long service was over their Majesties 
proceeded to St. Edward's Chapel, where the King 
was arrayed in a vesture of purple velvet, but the 
Queen retained her robes of state. Their Majes- 
ties, wearing their crowns, then returned on foot to 
Westminster Hall, and the long train of peers and 
peeresses, all wearing their coronets, followed. 

In Westminster Hall the King and Queen took 
their seats on a dais at a high table across the upper 
end of the hall ; the three princesses sat at one end 
of this table. The nobility and other persons of 
quality bidden to the feast seated themselves at 
tables running down the hall, and the coronation 
banquet began. After the first course had been 
served, the King's Champion, who enjoyed that 
office by virtue of being Lord of the Manor of 
Scrivelsby in Lincolnshire, entered. He was com- 
pletely armed in a suit of white armour and was 
mounted on a " goodly white horse richly capari- 
soned ". The Champion carried a gauntlet in his 
right hand, and his helmet was adorned with a plume 
of feathers red, white, and blue. Approaching 
their Majesties' table the Champion proclaimed his 
challenge in a loud voice : 

" If any person of what degree soever \ high or 
low> shall deny or gainsay Our Sovereign Lord King 
George //., King of Great Britain, France and 


Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc., son and next 
heir to Our Sovereign Lord King George I., the 
last King deceased, to be the Right Heir to the 
Imperial Croivn of this Realm of Great Britain, 
or that he ought not to enjoy the same; here is 
his Champion who saith that he lyeth and is a 
false Traytor, being ready in person to combat with 
him and in this quarrel will adventure his life against 
him on what day soever he shall be appointed." 

Then the Champion cast down his gauntlet, 
which, when it had lain some few minutes, was 
picked up by a herald and re-delivered to him. The 
Champion went through this performance three 
times, and after the third he made a low obeisance 
to the King. Whereupon the cup bearer brought 
to the King a gold bowl of wine with a cover, and 
his Majesty drank to the Champion and sent him 
the bowl by the cup bearer. The Champion, still 
on horseback, put on his gauntlet, received the bowl 
and drank from it, and after making a second re- 
verence to their Majesties, departed from the hall, 
taking with him the bowl and cover as his fee. As 
soon as the Champion had gone out, the heralds, 
after three obeisances to the King, proclaimed his 
style as follows in Latin, French and English : 

" Of the 'Most High, Most Mighty and Most 
Excellent Monarch George II., by the Grace of God 
King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, De- 
fender of the Faith." 

These ceremonies over the King and Queen pro- 
ceeded with their dinner. "The whole solemnity," 


we read, " was performed with the greatest splen- 
dour and magnificence, and without any disorder ; 
and what was most admired in the hall were the 
chandeliers, branches and sconces, in which were 
near two thousand wax candles, which being lighted 
at once, yielded an exceeding fine prospect." Their 
Majesties did not leave Westminster Hall until 
eight o'clock in the evening, when they returned to 
St. James's Palace to rest after their labours. But 
their loyal subjects prolonged the rejoicings far into 
the night with bonfires, illuminations, ringing of 
bells, and other demonstrations of joy. 

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who was present 
at the coronation, wrote a lively account of the 
scene, though she was more concerned with the 
deportment of her friends and acquaintances than 
with details of the ceremonial. She comments on 
the "great variety of airs" of those present. " Some 
languished and others strutted," she writes, " but a 
visible satisfaction was diffused over every counte- 
nance as soon as the coronet was clapped on the 
head. But she that drew the greater number of 
eyes was indisputably Lady Orkney. She exposed 
behind a mixture of fat and wrinkles, and before a 
very considerable protuberance which preceded her. 
Add to this the inestimable roll of her eyes, and 
her grey hairs, which by good fortune stood directly 
upright, and 'tis impossible to imagine a more de- 
lightful spectacle. She had embellished all this 
with considerable magnificence, which made her 
look as big again as usual ; and I should have 


thought her one of the largest things of God's 
making, if my Lady St. John had not displayed 
all her charms in honour of the day. The poor 
Duchess of Montrose crept along with a dozen 
black snakes playing round her face, and my Lady 
Portland, who has fallen away since her dismissal 
from Court, 1 represented very finely an Egyptian 
mummy embroidered over with hieroglyphics." 

The magnificence of the coronation was the talk 
of the town for a long time. As London was very 
full of persons of quality who had come from far 
and near to attend it, the theatre of Drury Lane 
seized the opportunity to give a highly ornate 
performance of King Henry the Eighth, with the 
coronation of Anne Boleyn at the end of the play, 
a scene on which ^1,000 (an unheard of sum to 
spend upon mounting a scene in those days) was 
expended. The scene at Drury Lane rivalled in 
mock splendour the ceremonial at the Abbey. All 
the town flocked to see it, both those who had been 
present at the real coronation and those who had 
not. The King and Queen and the young princesses 
came more than once, and graciously expressed their 
approval. " The Coronation " was repeated in the 
provinces for a year or two later. 

The City of London was not backward in 
showing its loyalty to George the Second ; an 

1 She had been appointed governess to the three eldest prin- 
cesses by George I., but was dismissed by Queen Caroline. 

2 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Letters and Works. Edited by 
Lord Wharncliffe. 


address was presented to the King, and the Lord 
Mayor's Show was conducted on a scale of unpre- 
cedented splendour. The King and Queen attended 
in state the banquet at the Guildhall, and some idea 
of the entertainment may be gathered from the fact 
that two hundred and seventy-nine dishes adorned 
the feast, and the cost amounted to ,5,000. 

When the excitement and loyal emotions called 
forth by the coronation had subsided the English 
people were better able to take the measure of their 
second King from Hanover. The process of dis- 
illusion soon set in. George the Second had even 
fewer good qualities than his father. On the 
battlefield, like all princes of his house, he had 
shown physical courage, though he had no claim to 
generalship. He had a certain shrewdness and a 
vein of caution which kept him from committing 
any flagrant errors, however foolishly he might talk. 
But this was the most that could be said in his 
favour. He was vain and pompous, mean, spiteful 
and avaricious. All he cared for, it was said, was 
"money and Hanover". He neither spoke nor 
acted like a King, and his small mind was incapable 
of rising to the height of his position. If he were 
straightforward it was because he was too stupid 
to dissemble, and if he seldom lied it was because 
it involved too great a strain upon his narrow 
imagination. On the surface it would be impos- 
sible to imagine two persons more unsympathetic 
than the King and Queen, yet the fact remains 
that they were devoted to one another. George 


knew that his consort was absolutely loyal to his 
interests, and in the great loneliness that sur- 
rounds a throne he could appreciate the benefit 
of having one disinterested person whom he could 
trust and in whom he could confide. In his heart 
of hearts he knew that his Queen was infinitely his 
superior, though he would never admit it to himself, 
to her, or least of all to the world. Yet in public 
affairs she swayed him as she would. 

From the time that Caroline became Queen, 
until her death, she governed England with Wai- 
pole ; she did not merely reign but she ruled, and 
though she was only Queen Consort, admitted by 
the English Constitution to no share in affairs of 
state, yet practically she was Queen Regnant, and 
a more powerful one than any England had known 
except Elizabeth. Caroline regarded Elizabeth as 
her great exemplar, and resembled her in many 
ways in her love of dominion, her jealousy of any 
rival near her throne, her diplomatic abilities, her 
breadth of view in matters of religion, her contempt 
for trivialities, and her superiority to mere conven- 
tion. She differed from Elizabeth in that she had 
a good heart, and though she loved to rule, she 
was neither tyrannical nor despotic. Elizabeth ex- 
ercised her power directly, appropriating even the 
credit due to her Ministers ; Caroline's power was 
indirect and found its way through tortuous channels. 
The extent of her power, though suspected, was 
never fully realised during her lifetime, except by 
a few persons such as Lord Hervey, who came into 


daily contact with her, and of course Walpole. 
Caroline had to be careful not to arouse the King's 
jealousy, for, like many weak men, he loved the 
outward semblance of authority, and this the Queen 
was more than ready to yield him. The King could 
have all the show provided she had the substance. 

The Queen and Walpole soon came to an 
understanding, and in the governing of the King and 
the kingdom they worked in accord. The Prime 
Minister discussed fully with her affairs of state, and 
together they planned what should be done. When 
everything was settled between them, Caroline 
undertook to bring the King round to their way 
of thinking. This process generally took place in 
private, but sometimes, if the matter were urgent, 
Caroline and Walpole would play into each other's 
hands in another way. The Prime Minister would 
have a conference with the Queen over-night, and 
the next morning, when he was summoned by the 
King, Caroline would, as if by accident, enter the 
royal closet. She would make a deep obeisance 
and humbly offer to withdraw. The King would 
tell her to stay ; she would take a chair, occupy 
herself with knotting or something of the kind, and 
apparently take no interest in the conversation. 
The King would ask her opinion. " I understand 
nothing of politics, your Majesty knows all," she 
would modestly answer. Delighted with this tribute 
to his powers George would press for an answer to 
his question, and then the game of hoodwink would 
begin. From certain secret signs agreed upon 


between her and Walpole, the Queen spoke or was 
silent, gave a qualified opinion or expressed herself 
plainly. It was all so well managed that neither 
the King nor other ministers present, if there were 
any, noticed the least thing. Walpole played with 
his hat, fidgeted with his sword, took snuff, pulled 
out his pocket handkerchief or plaited his shirt 
frill : each detail of this dumb show had its secret 
meaning. This farce was played not once but 
many times, over and over again, and though the 
means were sorry enough, the end was the good 
of the nation. The personal rule of the monarch 
as it had existed in the days of the Stuarts was 
gone for ever ; still the King was a force to be 
reckoned with, and, in foreign politics especially, 
Walpole would have found the choleric little George 
a terrible stumbling-block in his path had it not been 
that the Queen bent him to her will. The King 
would often announce his intention of doing some- 
thing incredibly foolish, she would apparently agree 
with him, yet before long she would bring him 
round to her point of view, though it was in flat 
contradiction to his first declaration. When the 
King set his face against a certain plan of the Prime 
Minister's or a certain appointment, Walpole would 
leave the matter in the Queen's hands, and by and 
by the King would suggest to him the very policy 
or appointment he had opposed, as though it were 
an idea of his own. Caroline talked her sentiments 
into her husband's mind and he reproduced them 
as faithfully as words talked into a phonograph. 


In public the Queen was always obedient, and her 
manner to the King was submission itself. " She 
managed this deified image," says Lord Hervey, 
" as the heathen priests used to do the oracles of 
old, when, kneeling and prostrate before the altars 
of a pageant god, they received with the greatest 
devotion and reverence those directions in public 
which they had before instilled and regulated in 
private. And as these idols consequently were 
only propitious to the favourites of the augurers, 
so nobody who had not tampered with our chief 
priestess ever received a favourable answer from 
our god ; storms and thunder greeted every votary 
that entered the temple without her protection ; 
calms and sunshine those who obtained it." The 
most farcical thing about it was that the little 
domestic tyrant took all this homage as his due, 
and to hear him talk his courtiers might think that 
he was as despotic as the Caesars and as autocratic 
as the Tsar. On one occasion his mind ran back 
over English history (with which, by the way, he 
was imperfectly acquainted), and he recalled his 
predecessors on the throne and contrasted them 
unfavourably with himself. To quote the same 
authority: "Charles I.," he said, "was governed 
by his wife; Charles II. by his mistresses; James 
II. by his priests; William III. by his men; and 
Queen Anne by her women-favourites. His father, 
he added, had been by anyone that could get at 
him. And at the end of this compendious history 
of our great and wise monarchs, with a significant, 


satisfied, triumphant air, he turned about smiling to 
one of his auditors, and asked him ' And who do 
they say governs now ? ' ' 

The courtier, we may be sure, was too discreet 
to say, but ill-affected persons blurted out the truth, 
and the disaffected journals, from the Craftsman 
downwards, railed at Walpole for having bought 
the Queen, and at the King for being governed by 
her. This was repeated over and over again in 
ribald verse of which the following will serve as a 
specimen : 

You may strut, dapper George, but 'twill all be in vain ; 
We know 'tis Queen Caroline, not you, that reign 
You govern no more than Don Philip of Spain. 
Then if you would have us fall down and adore you, 
Lock up your fat spouse, as your dad did before you. 

The Queen and Walpole were always striving to 
keep these lampoons away from the King, but 
some one about the court, probably in the apart- 
ments of Mrs. Howard, told him of the existence of 
this one, and he was exceedingly annoyed. He 
asked Lord Scarborough if he had seen it. Scar- 
borough admitted that he had. George then asked 
him who had shown it to him, but he said he had 
pledged his honour not to tell. The King flew 
into a passion, and said : " Had I been Lord Scar- 
borough in this situation and you King, the man 
would have shot me, or I him, who had dared to 
affront me, in the person of my master, by showing 
me such insolent nonsense ". Scarborough replied 
that he had not said it was a man who had shown it 
to him, which made the King, who regarded this as 


a pitiful evasion, angrier than ever. By way of 
showing his independence the King for some time 
after was more than usually testy with the Queen, 
contradicting her flatly before all the court whenever 
she ventured an opinion, snubbing her unmercifully, 
pooh-poohing her wishes, and generally treating her 
with almost brutal rudeness. The Queen received 
this with meekness, and abased herself before the 
King more than ever. But all the while her power 

Soon after the coronation the country was 
plunged into a general election. The Jacobites 
came off very badly at the polls, and the Tories 
little better. Even with the aid of the malcontent 
Whigs, the Opposition made a poor muster in point 
of numbers, and when the new Parliament met in 
January, 1728, the Ministerial majority was even 
greater than in the last reign. Walpole had won 
all along the line. The result no doubt was largely 
due to the way in which the Government had bought 
owners of pocket boroughs, and to the wholesale 
bribery wherewith its agents seduced the voters ; 
under such a system of corruption it was impossible 
for the voice of the nation to make itself effectually 
heard. Even many of those members of Parliament 
who were returned to the House of Commons in 
opposition to Walpole were eventually bought by 
him. "Every man has his price" was his cynical 
maxim, and he acted upon it so thoroughly that his 
name became a byword for corruption. True, the 
standard of political morality was not high in those 


days, the party in power, whether Whig or Tory, 
frequently abused the public trust and misused 
the public money. But it remained for Walpole 
to bring organised corruption to such a pitch that 
it paralysed popular government, and placed the 
balance of power, neither in the Sovereign, nor in 
the people, but in the hands of a Whig oligarchy. 
Such an oligarchy was at this period synonymous 
with Walpole himself, for the great Minister brooked 
no rivals in the King's (or rather in the Queen's) 
councils. " Sir Robert," said the shrewd old Sarah 
of Marlborough, " likes none but fools and such as 
have lost all credit." His earlier Administrations 
had included a few strong men, but one by one they 
had to go, unable to work with so jealous and 
domineering a chief. By bribery Walpole also re- 
duced Parliament to such a condition of impotence 
that it was hardly more to be reckoned with than 
the King. The Prime Minister had really no one 
to consider but the Queen, with whom he had a 
perfect understanding. 

Thus did Caroline and Walpole rule England. 
The means whereby they ruled were tainted at the 
source ; the end may, or may not, have justified the 
means, but at this distance of time, when the fierce 
controversies which gathered around Walpole's 
policy have passed into history, it must be admitted 
that the results were good. England was sick unto 
death of internal and external strife, what she needed 
was a strong hand at the helm and a settled govern- 
ment, and under Caroline and Walpole she secured 

From the Painting by J. B. Van Loo in the National Portrait Gallery. 


both, and ten years of peace abroad and plenty at 
home in addition. This long peace enabled Eng- 
land to recover herself within her borders ; British 
credit, which had sunk to zero, rose higher than it 
had been for years, trade and commerce increased, 
land went up in value, wheat became cheaper, and 
everywhere signs of prosperity were manifest. By 
degrees, and it was here that Caroline's tact came 
in, the different classes of the community were re- 
conciled to the Hanoverian dynasty ; the Church 
and the country squires held out the longest, but 
though they retained a tender sentiment for the 
exiled Stuarts they came in some vague way to 
connect their material prosperity with the mainten- 
ance of the Hanoverian regime. This result was 
not achieved without some loss, chiefly to be found 
in the lowering of the old ideals. The clergy, from 
causes on which we shall dwell more fully later, be- 
came indifferent, and the Church sank into apathy ; 
the country gentry lost, together with their old 
passionate loyalty to the King, some of their sense 
of personal responsibility towards their poorer neigh- 
bours, and took a lower view of their duties to 
the State. Much of the grossness and selfishness 
which disfigured the eighteenth century was due to 
an excess of material prosperity, and a consequent 
lowering of ideals in our national life. 

Very soon the King, who when Prince of Wales 
had always posed as English in all his sentiments, 
began his father's game of sacrificing English in- 
terests to those of Hanover. So subservient was 


the new House of Commons, and so unscrupulous 
were Walpole's tactics, that only eighty-four mem- 
bers were found to vote against a proposal to pay 
,280,000 to maintain Hessian troops for the benefit 
of Hanover ; and the subsidy of .25,000 a year for 
four years to the Duke of Wolfenbiittel, in return 
for his promise to furnish troops for a similar 
purpose, was passed with very little opposition. The 
maintenance of the Hessian troops was part of the 
price Walpole had to pay the King for preferring 
him to Compton, and the Duke of Wolfenbiittel's 
subsidy was hush-money pure and simple, paid for 
his handing over the late King's will. 

Though the Opposition was weak in numbers, 
and suffered from a lack of cohesion in its different 
groups, it was strong in the quality of its individual 
members. Pulteney headed the opposition to Wal- 
pole in the House of Commons, more especially 
that part of it which included the malcontent Whigs 
and the more moderate Tories who supported the 
Hanoverian succession. It was Bolingbroke who 
built up this party, and he invented for it the name 
of " Patriots ". Carteret, and later Chesterfield, were 
among its leading lights, but Pulteney was the chief. 
This remarkable man was in the prime of life, and 
endowed with natural and acquired advantages. He 
was of good birth, and the owner of great wealth ; 
he had a handsome person, a dignified manner and 
a cultured mind. His wit and scholarship almost 
rivalled Bolingbroke's, and as an orator he had few 
equals, and no superior, in his generation. Pulteney 's 


abilities as a statesman were of the highest order ; 
he had been a colleague of Walpole in earlier days, 
and stood by him in many a hard fought fight He 
had therefore the strongest claims for place. But 
Walpole, jealous of Pulteney's powers, passed him 
over for Cabinet office and offered him a minor post 
in the Government, and a peerage. The latter was 
refused, the former accepted for a time, but Pulteney 
soon resigned and went into active opposition. He 
joined forces with Bolingbroke, and the first fruit 
of their union was the Craftsman, a journal which 
fiercely attacked Walpole and his policy, the second 
was the formation of the Patriots' party. Boling- 
broke, though still excluded from the House of 
Lords, was able through the medium of the Craftsman 
to address himself to the wider constituency of the 
nation. His articles against his lifelong enemy were 
masterpieces of damaging criticism and polished 
invective. Besides Bolingbroke, the ablest political 
writers of the day contributed to the Craftsman. 

The most remarkable feature of the Opposition 
was the fact that it included men who, though 
differing widely among themselves, were united in 
common hatred of W 7 alpole. There became prac- 
tically only two parties in the State, those who were 
for Walpole and those who were against him ; and 
the differences between malcontent Whig and Tory, 
Jacobite and Hanoverian, sank into comparative 
insignificance. Thus Pulteney and Carteret were 
staunch Hanoverians and Whigs, Barnard was a 

Hanoverian Tory, Wyndham a Tory with Jacobite 
VOL. n. 4 


leanings, and Shippen a Jacobite out and out ; 
Bolingbroke stood among these parties, partaking 
a little of them all, and concentrating into himself 
the essence of their hatred of Walpole. 

No English Minister has ever been hated more 
than Walpole and none has had abler foes. The com- 
bination of two such master-minds as Bolingbroke and 
Pulteney would, under ordinary circumstances, have 
broken down any Minister. But the circumstances 
were not ordinary, and no statesman was more suc- 
cessful than Walpole in overcoming his enemies. 
His success was largely due to the steady support he 
received from the Queen. To her wise counsels was 
also something due. Walpole now refrained from 
violent measures against his political opponents, even 
under intense provocation. Hitherto in English 
politics the party in power had consistently persecuted 
the party in the minority. But now a new era set 
in ; it was possible to oppose a powerful Minister 
and yet not be sent to the Tower or impeached as 
a traitor. This more generous policy may be directly 
traced to Queen Caroline, for Walpole in George 
the First's reign had been anything but conciliatory, 
and no Minister had urged more fiercely than he the 
impeachment, the exile, and even the death of his 
political opponents. It was he who had clamoured 
for the execution of the Jacobite peers. But Caroline 
now exercised a restraining hand. During her ten 
years of queenship great freedom of speech was 
allowed in Parliament and outside it, and the widest 
liberty was given to the press. Impeachment, fining 


and imprisonment of politicians in opposition to the 
Government were things unheard of, and Caroline 
was careful to conciliate, or to endeavour to con- 
ciliate, such members of the Opposition as were 
loyal, or professed themselves to be loyal, to the 
Hanoverian dynasty. She remained on good terms 
with John, Duke of Argyll, who had been the 
King's favourite when he was Prince of Wales, but 
who had now gone into the cold shade of Opposition, 
and resigned all his offices about the court. She 
even received Pulteney much against Walpole's wish, 
and she had a smile and a gracious word for many 
of the Patriots when they came her way, always 
excepting Bolingbroke, whom she never would ad- 
mit to the least atom of her favour. In Caroline's 
wise policy may be seen the germs of that strict 
impartiality which the Sovereign ought to show 
towards prominent statesmen, whether they are in 
office or in opposition. This has now become almost 
an unwritten law of the English Constitution. 

In a far lesser degree Caroline's influence may 
also be traced in the way in which Walpole, though 
possessing the power to force through Parliament any 
measure he would, refrained from running counter 
to the popular will, when that will was unmistakably 
declared. True, here his own inherent statesman- 
ship came in, and counselled moderation. But 
Caroline also had theories about the popular will 
and civil liberty which she had acquired in her 
youth from Sophie Charlotte of Prussia, the " Re- 
publican Queen," and this at least may be claimed 


for her, that she taught Walpole the art of making 
his concessions gracefully. Her love of liberty in 
matters of religion showed itself in the zeal with 
which she urged indulgence to Protestant dissenters ; 
the time was not supposed to be ripe for the repeal 
of the penal laws against them, but annual Acts 
of Indemnity were passed which practically gave 
them the relief they desired, and drew the fangs 
of the Test and Corporation Acts. Caroline's 
power was most noticeable in the dispensing of 
patronage ; it is not too much to say that in 
all the ten years she was Queen no important 
appointment, either in Church or State, was made 
without her having some voice in it. In this transi- 
tion period the judicious distribution of patronage 
influenced largely the future of the nation, and 
the Queen, who saw further ahead than most of her 
contemporaries, was fully conscious of its importance. 
Thus this princess, who little more than a decade 
before was a stranger to the English laws and con- 
stitution, was able to shape and guide the destinies 
of England. 




THE court of King George the Second and Queen 
Caroline was conducted on a larger scale than 
any court England had known since the days of 
Charles the Second, though it lacked much of 
the gaiety and more of the grace that enlivened 
and adorned the court of the Merry Monarch. 
George the Second was a great lover of show, but 
he had neither wit nor good taste, and when he 
assumed the crown he seemed to think that he 
ought also to assume a stiffness and pomposity of 
manner to maintain his regal dignity. Like all 
German princes he was a great stickler for 
etiquette, and he modelled his court not only on 
Versailles, which then served as a pattern for all 
the courts of Europe, but imported to it some of the 
dulness of Herrenhausen, and further regulated it 
with strict regard to English precedents in previous 
reigns. The court officials were often very hard put 
to it to unearth them. But the King was ex- 
ceedingly precise and resented the most trifling 
breach of etiquette as a reflection on his royal 
dignity. He was a great authority on dress and cere- 
monial ; he could tell to a hair's-breadth the precise 


width of the gold braid which should adorn the coat 
of a gentleman of the bed-chamber, and recall with 
accuracy the number of buttons required for the 
vest of a page of the backstairs. The Queen en- 
couraged and applauded his bent in this direction ; 
it occupied his mind and left her free to arrange 
with Walpole the weightier affairs of the nation. 

Leicester House was given up and the court 
made St. James's Palace its headquarters in London. 
All the Hanoverian mistresses and favourites who 
had occupied apartments there during the last 
reign were turned out without ceremony. The 
court of Queen Caroline was more select than that 
of George the First. Drunkenness was still a venial 
offence, but it was not approved of in the royal 
presence, and women of notoriously ill repute were 
no longer received at St. James's. When the 
court was at St. James's, drawing-rooms were held 
several times a week, public days as they were 
called, and the King and Queen gave frequent 
audiences besides. Court balls often took place, 
and at the evening drawing-rooms cards and high 
play were still in vogue. Every movement of the 
King and Queen in public was made the occasion 
of ceremonial ; they attended divine service at 
the Chapel Royal in state ; they walked in St. 
James's Park followed by a numerous suite, the 
way kept clear by guards ; they seldom drove 
out unless preceded by an escort ; their visits to the 
theatre or opera were always announced beforehand, 
and their coming and going made the occasion of a 


spectacle. The people, with whom the pomp and 
circumstance of Royalty is always popular, loved 
these sights mightily, and all classes were pleased 
that there was once more a court in London. 
The King and Queen also revived the custom of 
dining in public on Sundays. One of the large 
state rooms of St. James's Palace was set apart 
for the occasion, and at a flourish of trumpets the 
King and Queen and the Royal Family entered and 
sat down to table in the centre of the room sur- 
rounded by the officers of the household. The 
courses were served with much ceremony on bended 
knee. The table was decked with magnificent plate 
and a band played during dinner. The enclosure 
was railed around, and the public were admitted 
by ticket, and allowed to stand behind the barriers 
and watch the royal personages eat, a privilege of 
which they freely availed themselves. After dinner 
the King and Queen withdrew to their apartments, 
their going, as their coming, being made the occasion 
of a procession. 

One of the first acts of the new King and Queen 
was to make a tour of the royal palaces, which had 
been practically closed to them since their rupture 
with George the First. The old King had disliked 
Windsor and rarely went there, its grandeur op- 
pressed him, and he and his German mistresses 
felt out of their element in a place steeped in 
traditions essentially English. George the Second 
did not care for Windsor any more than his 
sire, and excused himself from going there often 


on the ground that it was too far from London. 
He visited the castle chiefly for the purpose of 
hunting in the forest. But Caroline loved royal 
Windsor greatly, and used to go there during the 
King's absences at Hanover. In one of the 
recesses of the picture gallery, now the library, 
she arranged an extensive and valuable collection 
of china ; the collection was afterwards dispersed, 
but some of the china remains at Windsor Castle 
until this day, and is the only relic of Queen 
Caroline's occupation. 1 

The King and Queen paid their first visit to 
Windsor in the autumn of 1728, and great pre- 
parations were made to welcome them to the royal 
borough. " Last Saturday," we read, " when their 
Majesties arrived at Windsor, the Mayor, aldermen, 
and capital burgesses were ready in their formalities 
to receive them, and the balconies were hung with 
tapestry and vast crowds of spectators, but their 
Majesties came the Park way. The King and 
Queen walked in the Park till dinner time. The 
next day their Majesties dined in public, when all 
the country people, whether in, or out of, mourning, 
were permitted to see them." : On this occasion 
George the Second assumed his stall in St. George's 
Chapel as Sovereign of the Order of the Garter, 
and made his offering at the altar. The Queen, 

1 After Queen Caroline's death George II. rarely went to 
Windsor, and so neglected the Castle that when George III. 
ascended the throne it was found to be in a ruinous condition. 

2 Stamford Mercury, igth September, 1728. 


with the Duke of Cumberland, the Princess Royal, 
and the Princesses Caroline, Mary and Louisa, were 
present, and the Queen was seated under a canopy 
erected on the south side of the choir. A ball was 
given in the evening. The royal pair hunted the 
stag in Windsor Forest frequently during the visit, 
and on one occasion remained out until nine o'clock 
at night, and on another hunted all day through the 
rain, chasing the stag as far as Weybridge. The 
Queen followed the hounds in a chaise with one 
horse, in the same way that Queen Anne used to 
hunt in Windsor Forest. During their sojourn at 
Windsor the King and Queen received one Mrs. 
Joy, " a widow lady in the ninety-fourth year of 
her age, who had kissed Charles the First's hand ; 
she was very graciously received 'V The Queen 
celebrated her first visit to Windsor by giving ^350 
at Christmas for releasing insolvent debtors confined 
in the town and castle gaol her favourite form of 
charity. The prisoners, to the number of sixteen, 
were set free. 

Kensington was George the Second's favourite 
palace, as it had been his father's. King George 
the First rebuilt the eastern front and added the 
cupola. He also improved the interior, notably 
by making the grand staircase. Then, as now, 
Kensington Palace was an irregular building with 
little pretence to beauty and none to grandeur. 
But our first Hanoverian kings loved it ; its 
homeliness reminded them of Herrenhausen. The 

1 Daily Post, zyth December, 1728. 


Kensington promenades were now revived, and 
the King and Queen accompanied by the Royal 
Family would pace down the walks between an 
avenue of bowing and smiling courtiers. Through- 
out this reign, and far into the next, Kensington 
Gardens formed a fashionable resort, and with 
the promenades are associated many of the great 
names of the eighteenth century. People were 
admitted to the gardens by ticket obtainable through 
the Lord Chamberlain. Thus the promenades 
developed into a sort of informal court and were 
much resorted to by persons who did not attend 
drawing-rooms and levies in the ordinary way, 
as well as by those who did. The King and the 
Queen on these morning walks would make many 
a person happy by singling him out from the crowd 
with a bow, a smile, or the honour of a few words ; 
or, on the other hand, they would plunge many 
an aspirant to Court favour into gloom by ignoring 
him. The origin of these promenades may be 
traced to the daily walks of the Electress Sophia 
in the gardens of Herrenhausen, when she used 
to give audience to her supporters. Like the old 
Electress, her grandson and his Queen were great 
walkers. The little King used to walk very fast, 
with a curious strutting step, and generally forged 
ahead, leaving his taller and stouter consort to pant 
along behind him. In a political skit of the day 
there is an amusing reference to Caroline's custom 
of dropping behind her husband. It is headed : 
" Supposed to be written on account of three gentlemen 


being seen in Kensington Gardens by the King and 
Queen while they were walking". It was written 
either by Pulteney or Chesterfield, and these two 
were doubtless represented in it, the third being 
Wyndham or Bolingbroke. " The great river 
Euphrates " is the Serpentine, which Caroline created 
out of a string of ponds. It runs : 

" Now it came to pass in the days of Nebuchad- 
nezzar, the King of Babylon, in the eighth month, 
of the sixth year, the beginning of hay harvest, 
that the King and Queen walked arm in arm 
in the gardens which they had planted on the 
banks of the river, the great river Euphrates, and 
behold there appeared on the sudden three men, 
sons of the giants. Then Nebuchadnezzar the King 
lifted up his voice and cried : ' Oh men of war, who 
be ye, who be ye, and is it peace ? ' They answered 
him not. Then spake he and said : ' There is 
treachery, oh my Queen, there is treachery,' and 
he turned his face and fled. Now when the Queen 
had seen what had befallen the King she girt up 
her loins and fled also, crying : ' Oh my God ! ' So 
the King and Queen ran together, but the King 
outran her mightily, for he ran very swiftly ; neither 
turned he to the right hand nor the left, for he was 
sore afraid where no fear was, and fled when no man 

The King and Queen probably saw Pulteney, 
Chesterfield and Bolingbroke coming towards them, 
and as they were no doubt just then opposing some 
pet measure of Walpole and of the court, the King 


not wishing to receive their salutations, and not caring 
to ignore them, turned on his heel, and, followed 
by the Queen, hurried off as fast as he could. 

Richmond Lodge had now become Caroline's 
personal property, and the Queen continued to be 
very fond of it, and spent large sums of money in 
enlarging the gardens. Soon after Caroline became 
Queen she gave ^500 for railing and improving 
Richmond Green, and we read : " A subscription 
is set on foot among the inhabitants of the town 
of Richmond for erecting the effigy of her Majesty 
in the middle of the green". 1 But this intention 
was apparently never carried out. The Queen also 
had a cottage at Kew where she often drove to 
breakfast from Richmond. She gave the use of it to 
her favourite, Mrs. Clayton, afterwards Lady Sun- 

Hampton Court, more than any other royal 
palace, has memories of Queen Caroline, and many 
of its rooms remain to this day much as she left them. 
The Queen's dressing-room is almost the same as it 
was one hundred and seventy years ago ; her high 
marble bath on one side of the room may still be 
seen, and on the other side is the door that led to 
her private chapel. Under Caroline's supervision 
Hampton Court was altered in many ways, and in 
some improved. The great staircase was completed 
and decorated ; the Queen's presence chamber and 
the guard chamber were altered in a way charac- 
teristic of the early Georgian period. The public 

1 Country Journal, 22nd June, 1728. 


dining room, which is one of the finest rooms in the 
palace, was also redecorated, and the massive chimney- 
piece of white marble which bears the arms of George 
the Second was placed in it. Nor did the Queen con- 
fine her alterations only to the palace. She had a 
passion for gardening, especially landscape gardening, 
and the grounds of Hampton Court were considerably 
changed under her supervision. It was she who 
substituted wide sweeping lawns for the numerous 
fountains and elaborate flower beds which until then 
had ornamented the great fountain garden. Her 
alterations in many respects were severely criti- 
cised. 1 

Both the King and the Queen had pleasant me- 
mories of the place where they had celebrated their 
only regency when Prince and Princess of Wales. 
The summer after the coronation they came to 
Hampton Court for some time, and, as long as the 
Queen lived, a regular practice was made of spending 
at least two months there every summer. From 
Hampton Court the King did a great deal of stag 
hunting ; he was especially fond of the pleasures of 
the chase and would not forego them on any 
account. His enthusiasm was not shared by the 
lady members of the royal household. " We hunt," 
writes Mrs. Howard from Hampton Court to Lady 
Hervey, " with great noise and violence, and have 
every day a very tolerable chance to have a neck 

1 Most of them, both in the palace and the gardens, were carried 
out by Kent, an unworthy successor to Sir Christopher Wren. Some 
of Kent's work at Hampton Court is very incongruous and inferior. 


broke ; " * and her correspondent, writing of the 
same subject, declares her belief that much of Mrs. 
Howard's illness was due to this violent riding. 
The following is a description of one of these ex- 
peditions : 

" On Saturday their Majesties, together with 
their Royal Highnesses the Duke (of Cumberland) 
and the Princesses, came to the new park by 
Richmond from Hampton Court and diverted them- 
selves with hunting a stag, which ran from eleven to 
one, when he took to the great pond, where he 
defended himself for half an hour, when he was 
killed. His Majesty, the Duke, and the Princess 
Royal hunted on horseback, her Majesty and the 
Princess Amelia in a four-wheeled chaise, Princess 
Caroline in a two-wheeled chaise, and the Princesses 
Mary and Louisa in a coach. Her Majesty was 
pleased to show great condescension and complais- 
ance to the country people by conversing with them, 
and ordering them money. Several of the nobility 
attended, amongst them Sir Robert Walpole, clothed 
in green as Ranger. When the diversion was over 
their Majesties, the Duke, and the Princesses 
refreshed themselves on the spot with a cold colla- 
tion, as did the nobility at some distance of time 

1 Accidents were not infrequent at these hunting parties. For 
instance, we read in the newspapers of the day : 

" 25th August, 1731. The Royal Family were hunting, and in 
the chase a stag started upon the Princess Amelia's horse, which, 
being frightened, threw her. 

" 28th August, 1731. The Royal Family hunted in Richmond 
Park, when the Lord Delaware's lady was overturned in a chaise, 
which went over but did no visible hurt." 


after, and soon after two in the afternoon returned 
to Hampton Court." 1 

The Queen always accompanied the King in 
her chaise, but she cared nothing for the sport. 
She took with her her vice-chamberlain, Lord 
Hervey, "who loved hunting as little as she did, 
so that he might ride constantly by the side of 
her chaise, and entertain her whilst other people 
were entertaining themselves by hearing dogs bark, 
and seeing crowds gallop ". 2 The King cared only 
for stag-hunting and coursing ; he affected to despise 
fox-hunting, though the sport was very popular 
among his subjects. Once, when the Duke of 
Grafton said he was going down to the country to hunt 
the fox, the King told him that : "It was a pretty 
occupation for a man of quality, and at his age to be 
spending all his time in tormenting a poor fox, that 
was generally a much better beast than any of those 
that pursued him ; for the fox hurts no other animal 
but for his subsistence, while those brutes who hurt 
him did it only for the pleasure they took in hurting." 
The Duke of Grafton said he did it for his health. 
The King asked him why he could not as well walk 
or ride post for his health ; and added, if there was 
any pleasure in the chase, he was sure the Duke of 
of Grafton can know nothing of it ; " for," added his 
Majesty, " with your great corps of twenty stone 
weight, no horse, I am sure, can carry you within 
hearing, much less within sight, of the hounds." 8 

1 Stamford Mercury, 22nd August, 1728. 
2 Hervey's Memoirs. *Ibid. 


At Hampton Court, as at St. James's, the 
King and Queen dined in public on Sundays, and 
the people came in crowds to see the sight. On 
one of these occasions an absurd incident took 
place. " There was such a resort to Hampton 
Court last Sunday to see their Majesties dine," 
writes a news-sheet, "that the rail surrounding 
the table broke, and causing some to fall, made 
a diverting scramble for hats and wigs, at which 
their Majesties laughed heartily." 1 On private 
evenings at Hampton Court the only amusement 
was cards, but now and then the King and 
Queen held drawing-rooms, in the audience cham- 
ber. 2 Often in summer, when the nights were 
fine, the Queen and her ladies would go out and 
walk in the gardens. We may picture her pacing 
up and down the avenues of chestnut and lime in 
the warm dusk, or viewing from the gardens the 
beautiful palace bathed in the moonbeams. So 
little is changed to-day that it requires no great 
effort of the imagination to re-people Hampton 
Court with the figures of the early Georgian 

One of the most prominent personages at the 
Court of Queen Caroline was her favourite, Lord 
Hervey, whom she had now appointed her vice- 
chamberlain, and who enjoyed her fullest confidence. 

1 Stamford Mercury, 25th July, 1728. 

2 The canopy of crimson silk under which Caroline stood is still 
affixed to the wall of the Queen's audience chamber at Hampton 
Court or was there until lately. 


The Queen delighted to have him about her at all 
times, and would converse with him for hours 
together, asking him questions about a hundred 
and one things, and laughing at his clever talk. 
Lord Hervey was a man of considerable wit and 
ability, and undoubtedly an amusing companion. 
But he was a contemptible personality, diseased 
in body and warped in mind, incapable of taking 
a broad and generous view of any one or anything ; 
ignorant of lofty ideals and noble motives himself, 
he was quite unable to understand them in others, 
and always sought some sordid or selfish reason 
for every action. The Queen, however, overlook- 
ing his faults, with which she must have been 
familiar, and his effeminacies and immoralities, of 
which she could not have been ignorant, believed 
that he was a faithful servant to her, and trusted 
him in no ordinary degree. As a sign of her 
favour she increased his salary as vice-chamber- 
lain by ,1,000 a year, allowed him considerable 
patronage, which was worth a good deal more, 
and made him many valuable presents. She 
treated him rather as a son than as a subject. 
"It is well I am so old," she used to say (she was 
fourteen years Hervey's senior), "or I should be 
talked of over this creature." No one, however, 
ever talked scandal of her Majesty, though some 
doubted her judgment in choosing her friends, 
and it must be confessed that she was unwise in 
admitting Hervey to so many of her secrets. 

Notwithstanding that she heaped favours upon 
VOL. ii. 5 


him, he repaid her with ingratitude, and when she 
was dead endeavoured to befoul her memory. But 
to the Queen's face he was a fawning and accom- 
plished courtier, and expressed the greatest zeal 
in her service. 

Hervey had a nimble and superficial pen, and 
sometimes employed himself in writing anonymous 
pamphlets in defence of the Government and 
Court against members of the Opposition. A 
great many of these anonymous pamphlets were 
showered upon the town at this time, and Pulte- 
ney chancing to come across one of them, 
entitled Sedition and Defamation Displayed, which 
attacked him and Bolingbroke in no measured 
terms, thought it was from Lord Hervey 's pen (it 
afterwards turned out to be not so), and wrote a 
violent answer, also anonymous, called A Proper 
Reply to a Late Scurrilous Libel. This pamphlet 
abused" Walpole, and by implication the Court, and 
applied several opprobrious epithets to Hervey, 
speaking of him by his nickname " Lord Fanny," 
describing him as "half-man and half-woman," and 
dwelling malignantly on his peculiar infirmities. 
The pamphlet was warmly resented at court. Like 
many who set no bounds to their own malice, 
Hervey was extremely sensitive to attack, and 
wishing to curry favour with the King and Queen 
he wrote to Pulteney to know if he were the author 
of the pamphlet. Pulteney answered that he would 
inform him on that point if Hervey would tell him first 
whether he was the writer of Sedition and Defama- 


tion Displayed. Hervey sent back word to say 
that he had not written the pamphlet, and again 
demanded an answer to his question. Pulteney 
returned a defiant message saying that "whether or 
no he was the author of the Reply he was ready to 
justify and stand by the truth of every word of it, 
at what time and wherever Lord Hervey pleased ". 
This was tantamount to a challenge, and Hervey, 
though not given to duelling, could not in honour 
ignore it. A duel was arranged. "Accordingly," 
writes an eye-witness, 1 "on Monday last, between 
three and four in the afternoon, they met in Upper 
St. James's Park, behind Arlington Street, with 
their two seconds, who were Mr. Fox and Sir J. 
Rushout. The two combatants were each of them 
slightly wounded, but Mr. Pulteney had once so 
much the advantage of Lord Hervey that he would 
have infallibly run my lord through the body if 
his foot had not slipped, and then the seconds 
took the occasion to part them. Upon which Mr. 
Pulteney embraced Lord Hervey, and expressed 
a great deal of concern at the accident of their 
quarrel, promising at the same time that he would 
never personally attack him again, either with his 
mouth or his pen. Lord Hervey made him a 
bow without giving him any sort of answer, and, 
to use a common expression, thus they parted." 
Sir Charles Hanbury Williams wrote some lines 
on this duel, in which, addressing Pulteney, he 
says : 

Thomas Pelham to Lord Waldegrave, 3Oth June, 1730. 


Lord Fanny once did play the dunce, 

And challenged you to fight ; 
And he so stood to lose his blood, 

But had a dreadful fright. 

Among minor figures about the court two of 
the most familiar were Lord Lifford and his sister, 
Lady Charlotte de Roussie. They were the children 
of a Count de Roussie, a French Protestant who 
came over to England with William of Orange in 
1688, and was created by him Earl of Lifford in the 
peerage of Ireland. They were typical courtiers of 
the baser sort, and would perform the meanest 
offices and indulge in the grossest flattery in order 
to win some rays of the royal favour. They were 
not popular with any of the English people about 
the court. Hervey tells us : " They had during 
four reigns subsisted upon the scanty charity of the 
English Court. They were constantly, every night 
in the country and three nights in the town, alone 
with the King or Queen for an hour or two before 
they went to bed, during which time the King 
walked about and talked to the brother of arms, 
or to the sister of genealogies, whilst the Queen 
nodded and yawned, till from yawning she came 
to nodding, and nodding to snoring. These two 
miserable Court drudges, who were in a more constant 
waiting than any of the pages of the backstairs, 
were very simple and very quiet, did nobody any 
hurt, nor anybody but His Majesty any pleasure, 
who paid them so ill for all their assiduity and 
slavery that they were not only not in affluence, but 
laboured under the disagreeable burdens of small 


debts, which ,1,000 would have paid, and had not 
an allowance from the Court, that enabled them 
to appear there even in the common decency of 
clean clothes. The King nevertheless was always 
saying how well he loved them, and calling them 
the best people in the world, but though he never 
forgot their goodness he never remembered their 

Another foreign dependent was Schiitz, a Han- 
overian. Pope, who had lost the favour of the 
Court, was very bitter upon those who retained 
it ; in one of his ballads he sings : 

Alas ! like Schiitz I cannot pun, 

Like Grafton court the Germans, 
Tell Pickenbourg how slim she's grown, 

Like Meadows run to sermons. 

Hervey satirises Schiitz's dulness as follows : 

And sure in sleep no dulness you need fear 
Who, ev'n awake, can Schutz and Lifford bear. 

And again 

Charlotte and Schutz like angry monkeys chatter, 
None guessing what's the language or the matter. 

While in another of his satires occur these lines : 

There is another Court booby, at once hot and dull, 
Your pious pimp Schutz, a mean Hanover tool. 

A personage of quite a different order to the 
foregoing was Henrietta Louisa, Countess of Pom- 
fret, the authoress of the correspondence with Lady 
Hertford. Lady Pomfret was the granddaughter on 
the paternal side of Judge Jefferies, on the maternal 


of the Earl of Pembroke, and on the strength of 
the latter claimed descent from Edward the First. 
Lady Pomfret accepted the post of lady of the bed- 
chamber, but she was of a different type to many 
of the Queen's ladies. She was a matron of 
unimpeachable virtue, the mother of six lovely 
daughters all beauties of whom, perhaps, the best 
known was Lady Sophia Fermor, afterwards Lady 
Carteret. Lady Pomfret had a keen sense of her 
dignity, and she affected a knowledge of literature 
and the fine arts. The celebrated "Pomfret Letters," 
much admired in their day, are packed with plati- 
tudes, and so dull that they leave no doubt as to 
the correctness of her principles. Lady Pomfret 
was considered by many of her contemporaries to 
be a prodigy of learning ; she seems rather to have 
been a courtly Mrs. Malaprop. She once declared 
that "It was as difficult to get into an Italian coach 
as for Caesar to take Attica " by which she meant 
Utica. On another occasion some one telling her 
of a man " who talked of nothing but Madeira, she 
asked gravely what language that was ". But despite 
her eccentricities she had sterling qualities, and was 
as much a credit to the court as her daughters 
were its ornaments. 

The Queen's household was numerous, and in- 
cluded the Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of 
Dorset six ladies of the bedchamber, all countesses ; 
six bedchamber women and six maids of honour. 
The two most prominent members of it were two 
bedchamber women, Mrs. Clayton, the Queen's 


favourite, and Mrs. Howard, the King's favourite, 
who hated one another thoroughly. 

Mrs. Clayton had now great influence with the 
Queen, more indeed than any one except Walpole, 
with whom she came frequently into collision. She 
was an irritating woman with an overwhelming sense 
of self-esteem. Horace Walpole calls her "an absurd 
pompous simpleton ". Lord Hervey credits her 
with all the virtues, and declares that she possessed 
an excellent understanding and a good heart. She 
undoubtedly possessed cunning and ability, which 
she used to such advantage that she ultimately pro- 
cured for her stupid husband a peerage, as Viscount 
Sundon, and she foisted a large family of needy 
relatives on to the public service. She acted as a 
sort of unofficial private secretary to the Queen and 
became the medium of all manner of communications 
to her mistress. Many of the letters written to her 
were really addressed to Caroline. Walpole heart- 
ily disliked Mrs. Clayton and tried in vain to shake 
her influence with the Queen. Her ascendency- 
was inexplicable to him for years, but at last he 
thought that he had discovered the reason. When 
Lady Walpole died, the Queen asked him many 
questions about his wife's last illness and persistently 
referred to one particular malady from which, in 
point of fact, Lady Walpole had not suffered. The 
Prime Minister noticed it, and when he came home 
he said to his son : " Now, Horace, I know by the 
possession of what secret Lady Sundon has pre- 
served such an ascendant over the Queen ". Whether 


her influence was wholly due to this cause is open 
to question, for she stood in high favour before her 
mistress's malady began. But for long years Caro- 
line suffered from a distressing illness of which she 
would rather have died than have made it known, 
and Mrs. Clayton was one of the few who knew her 

All the maids of honour except Miss Meadows 
had changed since the King and Queen were last at 
Hampton Court, but these young ladies were still of 
a lively temperament. One evening in the darkness 
several of them played at ghost, and stole out into the 
gardens and went round the palace rattling and knock- 
ing at the windows. Lady Hervey, who had heard 
of these frolics, writes to Mrs. Howard : "I think 
people who are of such very hot constitutions as to 
want to be refreshed by night walking, need not 
disturb others who are not altogether so warm as 
they are ; and it was very lucky that looking over 
letters till it was late, prevented some people being 
in bed, and in their first sleep, otherwise the infinite 
wit and merry pranks of the youthful maids might 
have been lost to the world." l 

But, however lively may have been the young 
maids of honour, one member of the Queen's 
household found Hampton Court dull under the new 
reign and its glory departed. Writing to Lady 
Hervey Mrs. Howard says : 

" Hampton is very different from the place you 

1 Lady Hervey to Mrs. Howard, yth July, 1729. Suffolk Corre- 


knew ; and to say we wished Tom Lepell, Schatz 
and Bella-dine at the tea-table, is too interested to be 
doubted. Frizelation, flirtation and dangleation 
are now no more, and nothing less than a Lepell 
can restore them to life ; but to tell you my opinion 
freely, the people you now converse with " (books) 
" are much more alive than any of your old acquain- 
tances." x 

Mrs. Howard had a good reason to be dis- 
pirited, for the new reign had proved a sad disap- 
pointment to her. She had expected, and so had 
her friends, that the King's accession to the throne 
would bring her an increase of power, wealth and 
influence, which would have helped to compensate 
her for the equivocal position she occupied, a position 
which, as she was a modest woman, could not have 
been altogether congenial to her. " No established 
mistress of a sovereign," says Horace Walpole, 
" ever enjoyed less brilliancy of the situation than 
Lady Suffolk." The only benefit she received 
was a peerage for her brother, Sir Henry Hobart, 
and at the end of a long and trying career at court 
she managed to amass a sum, not indeed sufficient 
to give her wealth, but to save her from indi- 
gence. The Queen once said that Mrs. Howard 
received ,1,200 a year from the King all the time 
he was Prince of Wales, and it was increased to 
,3,200 a year when he became King. He also gave 
her ; 1 2,000 towards building her villa at Marble 
Hill, near Twickenham, besides several " little dabs' 

1 Mrs. Howard to Lady Hervey, September, 17:48. 


both before and after he came to the throne. But 
this represented all that Mrs. Howard gained, if 
indeed she gained so much ; patronage or influence 
she had none, and those who placed their trust 
in her found themselves out of favour. After 
a while the courtiers began to find out that it 
was more profitable to pay their suit to Mrs. Clay- 
ton, who had the ear of the Queen, than to Mrs. 
Howard, who had not the ear of the King. Yet 
the King still continued to visit Mrs. Howard for 
some three or four hours every evening, at nine 
o'clock, "but with such dull punctuality that he 
frequently walked up and down the gallery for ten 
minutes with his watch in his hand if the stated 
minute was not arrived ". 1 The Queen was doubt- 
less glad to get rid of him for a time, but Mrs. 
Howard must have suffered sadly from the tedium 
of entertaining her royal master on these daily visits, 
and certainly deserved more than she got in the 
way of recompense. She had, as one puts it, " the 
scandal of being the King's mistress without the 
pleasure, the confinement without the profit ". The 
Queen took care that the profit was strictly limited. 
The King was so mean that at one time he even 
suggested, indirectly, that the Queen should pay 
Mrs. Howard's husband out of her privy purse for 
keeping himself quiet. This was too great a tax even 
on Caroline's complaisance and in one of her bursts 

1 Walpole's Reminiscences. Mrs. Howard was lodged at Hampton 
Court in the fine suite of rooms until recently occupied by the late 
Lady Georgiana Grey. 


of confidence she told Lord Hervey that when 
Howard insisted on his wife returning to him, 
" That old fool, my Lord Trevor, came to me from 
Mrs. Howard, and after thanking me in her name for 
what I had done, proposed to me to give ,1,200 a 
year to Mr. Howard to let his wife stay with me ; 
but as I thought I had done full enough, and that it 
was a little too much not only to keep the King's 
guenipes" (in English trulls) "under my roof, but to 
pay them too, I pleaded poverty to my good Lord 
Trevor, and said I w r ould do anything to keep so 
good a servant as Mrs. Howard about me, but that 
for the .1,200 a-year I really could not afford it". 
So Howard's silence was bought out of the King's 
pocket, and Mrs. Howard's maintenance was partly 
provided by him, and partly by the Queen, who 
gave her a place in her household and so threw a 
veil of respectability over the affair. 

Mrs. Howard found that she gained so little 
by the King's accession, that she wished to retire 
from court, but was not allowed to do so. Mean- 
while all her nominations were refused. She seems 
to have shown her resentment in divers ways. Her 
refusal to kneel during the ceremony of the Queen's 
dressing was perhaps one manifestation of it. With 
regard to her uprising and retiring, her dressing 
and undressing, Queen Caroline followed the custom^ 
which had been observed by all kings and queens of 
England until George the First, who refused to be 
bound by precedent in this matter. Caroline per- 
formed the greater part of her dressing surrounded 


by many persons. The Queen, who had a great 
idea of what was due to her dignity, desired that 
the bedchamber-woman in waiting should bring the 
basin and ewer and present them to her kneeling. 
Mrs. Howard objected to this, and, considering the 
peculiar relations which existed between her and the 
King, her objection was natural enough. But the 
Queen insisted. " The first thing," said Caroline to 
Lord Hervey later, "this wise, prudent Lady Suffolk" 
[Mrs. Howard] "did was to pick a quarrel with me 
about holding a basin in the ceremony of my dressing, 
and to tell me, with her little fierce eyes, and cheeks 
as red as your coat, that positively she would not do 
it ; to which I made her no answer then in anger, 
but calmly, as I would have said to a naughty child, 
' Yes, my dear Howard, I am sure you will ; indeed 
you will. Go, go ! fie for shame ! Go, my good 
Howard ; we will talk of this another time." 

Mrs. Howard went, and in her dilemma wrote to 
Dr. Arbuthnot to inquire of Lady Masham, who had 
been at one time bedchamber-woman to Queen 
Anne, whether this disputed point was really accord- 
ing to precedent. She got little comfort from Lady 
Masham, who through Arbuthnot replied : 

" The bedchamber-wcwztfw came into waiting 
before the Queen's prayers, which was before her 
Majesty was dressed. The Queen often shifted in 
a morning ; if her Majesty shifted at noon, the bed- 
chamber-/tfd^/ being by, the bedchamber-zw^flw gave 
the shift to the lady without any ceremony, and the 
lady put it on. Sometimes, likewise, the bed- 


chamber-woman gave the fan to the lady in the 
same manner ; and this was all that the bedchamber- 
lady did about the Queen at her dressing. 

" When the Queen washed her hands the page of 
the backstairs brought and set down upon a side- 
table the basin and ewer, then the bedchamber- 
woman set it before the Queen, and knelt on the 
other side of the table over against the Queen, the 
bedchamber-/#^y only looking on. The bedchamber- 
woman poured the water out of the ewer upon the 
Queen's hands. 

"The bedchamber-woman pulled on the Queen's 
gloves when she could not do it herself. 1 

" The page of the backstairs was called in to put 
on the Queen's shoes. 

" When the Queen dined in public the page 
reached the glass to the bedchamber-woman, and she 
to the lady in waiting. 

" The bedchamber-woman brought the chocolate, 
and gave it without kneeling. 

"In general, the bedchamber-woman had no de- 
pendence on the lady of the bedchamber." 2 

As Mrs. Howard was not a lady of the bed- 
chamber but bedchamber-woman only, she found 
that the Queen had asked of her nothing more 
than etiquette required, and after a week of inde- 
cision she yielded the point, and knelt with the basin 
as commanded. Horace Walpole, who was fond of 

1 Queen Anne's hands were swollen with gout. 

2 Dr. Arbuthnot to Mrs. Howard, 2Qth May, 1728. Suffolk 


imputing base motives to others, says that the Queen 
delighted in. subjecting her to such servile offices, 
though always apologising to her "good Howard". 
But there is no evidence to show that the Queen 
was capable of such petty spite ; she required nothing 
more than the duties the office involved, however 
menial they may seem now. The Queen, who bore no 
malice, soon forgave Mrs. Howard this little display 
of temper, for she told Lord Hervey : " About a 
week after, when upon maturer deliberation, she had 
done everything about the basin that I would have 
her, I told her I knew we should be good friends 
again ; but could not help adding, in a little more 
serious voice, that I owned of all my servants I had 
least expected, as I had least deserved it, such treat- 
ment from her, when she knew I had held her up at 
a time when it was in my power, if I had pleased, 
any hour of the day to let her drop through my 
fingers thus ." 

The Queen's morning toilet was generally made 
by her the occasion of an informal levee, and to it she 
would command all those whom she wished to see 
on any subject. While her head was being tired a 
group would be standing around her, and in the ante- 
chamber divines rubbed shoulders with poets, and 
learned men with politicians and court ladies. On 
the Queen's toilet table would be found not only 
the requisites for dressing but a heap of other 
things a sermon, a new book, a poem in her 
praise, a report as to her gardens and build- 
ing plans, a pile of letters on every conceivable 



subject, and the memorandum of a minister. All 
these she would deal with quickly and character- 
istically. She would also on these occasions have 
retailed to her the latest news, or engage a 
philosopher and a divine in a dispute upon some 
abstract question, and would put in a word in 
the interval of having her head tired and washing 
her hands. Prayers would be read to her in an 
adjoining room while she was dressing, in order to 
save time. The door was left a little ajar so that the 
chaplain's voice might be heard. The bedchamber- 
woman was one day commanded to bid the chaplain, 
Dr. Maddox, afterwards Bishop of Worcester, to 
begin his prayers, but seeing a picture of a naked 
Venus over the fald-stool, the divine made bold to 
remark : " And a very proper altar piece is here, 
madam ! " On another occasion the Queen ordered 
the door to be closed for a minute, and then, not 
hearing the chaplain's voice, she sent to know why 
he was not going on with his prayers. The 
indignant clergyman replied that he refused to 
whistle the word of God through the keyhole. This 
latter anecdote is sometimes told of Queen Anne, 
though, as she was always very devout in her 
religious observances, it is far more likely to be 
true of Queen Caroline. It is borne out by the 
following passage, which occurs in "a dramatic 
trifle " which Lord Hervey wrote to amuse the 
Queen, entitled The Death of Lord Hervey or a 
Morning at Court. The scene is laid in the Queen's 
dressing-room. " The Queen is discovered at her 


toilet cleaning her teeth, with Mrs. Purcell dressing 
her Majesty's head, and the princesses, and ladies 
and women of the bedchamber standing around her. 
The Litany is being said in the next room " : 

First Parson (behind the scenes) : " From pride, 
vain glory and hypocrisy, from envy, hatred and 
malice, and all uncharitableness ". 

Second Parson : " Good Lord deliver us ! " 

Queen : " I pray, my good Lady Sundon, shut a 
little that door ; those creatures pray so loud, one 
cannot hear oneself speak." \Lady Sundon goes to 
shut the doorJ] " So, so, not quite so much ; leave 
it enough open for those parsons to think we may 
hear, and enough shut that we may not hear quite 
so much." 

The King seldom honoured these morning 
levies of his Queen with his presence, for he 
disliked cosmopolitan gatherings,' but sometimes 
he would strut in and clear out the crowd with 
scant ceremony. On one occasion he came into 
the room while the Queen was dressing, and seeing 
that his consort's bosom was covered with a ker- 
chief, he snatched it away, exclaiming angrily to 
Mrs. Howard who was in waiting: "Is it because 
you have an ugly neck yourself that you love to 
hide the Queen's " ? The Queen's bust was said by 
sculptors to have been the finest in Europe. 

The Queen was pleased with Mrs. Howard's 
submission in the matter of the basin, and by way of 
marking her appreciation, she did her the honour of 
dining with her at her new villa at Marble Hill 


that famous villa of which Lords Burlington and 
Pembroke designed the front, Bathurst and Pope 
planned the gardens, and Swift, Gay and Arbuthnot 
arranged the household. But the Queen would 
allow Mrs. Howard no political influence. Compton 
and Pulteney, Bolingbroke and other Opposition 
leaders who had trusted to her found that they had 
leant on a broken reed. Indeed Mrs. Howard's 
goodwill seemed fatal to all her friends. It was 
through her, unwittingly, that Lord Chesterfield lost 
the favour of the Queen, though Walpole's jealousy, 
and the remembrance the Queen had of his mocking 
her in the old days at Leicester House, had some- 
thing to do with it. 

Chesterfield, who had been appointed in the last 
reign Ambassador at the Hague, came over to Eng- 
land some little time after King George the Second 
ascended the throne to see his friends and pay his 
respects to their Majesties. He at once repaired 
to Walpole, who said to him jealously: "Well, my 
Lord, I find you have come to be Secretary of 
State ". Lord Chesterfield declared that he had 
no such ambition, but he said : "I claim the Garter, 
not on account of my late services, but agreeably 
with the King's promise to me when he was Prince 
of Wales ; besides, I am a man of pleasure, and the 
blue riband would add two inches to my size". 
The King kept his word, and Chesterfield was 
given the Garter, and also the sinecure of High 
Steward of the Household. All would have gone 

well with him if he had not been so unfortunate 
VOL. n. 6 


as to get again into the Queen's bad books. "The 
Queen," says Horace Walpole, "had an obscure 
window at St. James's that looked into a dark 
passage, lighted only by a single lamp at night, 
which looked upon Mrs. Howard's apartment. 
Lord Chesterfield, one Twelfth-night at Court, had 
won so large a sum of money that he thought 
It imprudent to carry it home in the dark, and 
deposited it with the mistress. Thus the Queen 
inferred great intimacy ; thenceforward Lord Ches- 
terfield could obtain no favour from Court." The 
sum which Lord Chesterfield was said to have won 
on this occasion was ,15,000, which gives some 
idea of the high play then in vogue. But he lost 
far more than he gained the Queen's goodwill, 
without which no statesman could hold place in 
the councils of the King. 



FREDERICK Louis, the eldest son of George the 
Second, still remained at Hanover, though now direct 
heir to the throne of England, and his father made 
no sign. Remembering perchance what a thorn he, 
when Prince of Wales, had been in his father's side, 
the King was afraid lest his heir should treat him 
likewise, and the Queen, whose affection had gone 
to her younger son, William, Duke of Cumberland, 
agreed with her husband as to the advisability of 
keeping their first-born away from England as long 
as possible. This is more extraordinary when it is 
remembered that the policy of George the First in 
keeping Frederick at Hanover was, in the early 
part of his reign, one of his son's grievances against 
him, and he and the Princess frequently urged, both 
in private and public, that their son should be brought 
to England. But after the birth of William, Duke of 
Cumberland, they completely changed their minds, 
and were as anxious to keep Frederick at Hanover 
as they had formerly been to have him in England. 
They would have liked to supplant the elder brother 


by the younger, who was born on British soil to 
give Prince Frederick Hanover only, and reserve 
the throne of England for Prince William. They 
forgot that the English crown was not theirs to 
give. In the latter days of George the First's reign 
Walpole urged upon the old King the advisability 
of bringing his grandson to England, and George 
would, it was said, have brought him back with 
him after his last visit to Hanover. But his death 
on the road thither changed all this. 

Neither the King nor the Queen had any affection 
for their eldest son, who had grown up a stranger 
to them, and of whom they received unfavourable 
accounts. On the other hand, it is only fair to 
say that Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who was 
by no means given to flattering any one, were he 
prince or peasant, on her visit to Hanover in 1716 
spoke strongly in Frederick's favour. She writes : 
" Our young Prince, the Duke of Gloucester, has 
all the accomplishments that it is possible to 
have at his age, with an air of sprightliness and 
understanding, and something so very engaging 
and easy in his behaviour that he needs not the 
advantage of his rank to appear charming. I had 
the honour of a long conversation with him last 
night before the King came in. His governor 
retired on purpose, as he told me afterwards, that 
I might make some judgment of his genius by 
hearing him speak without constraint, and I was 
surprised by the quickness and politeness that ap- 
peared in everything that he said, joined to a person 


perfectly agreeable, and the fine fair hair of the 

The fact that Frederick had grown up under his 
grandfather's influence prejudiced his parents against 
him, more especially when they heard that he es- 
poused the old King's side in the family quarrel. 
On the other hand, his father's tardiness in sum- 
moning him to England after his accession and his 
refusal to pay the debts he had made at Hanover 
created a bad feeling on Frederick's part towards 
his parents. Thus matters stood for more than 
a year after the coronation, despite the repre- 
sentations of Walpole and the clamours of the 
Opposition, who attacked the Government for not 
forcing the King's hand in this matter. The 
Privy Council represented the dangers that would 
ensue from suffering the heir to the throne to 
remain so long away from the country over which 
he would one day, under Providence, reign. The 
King listened very unwillingly, but while he was 
hesitating an incident occurred which hastened his 

Prince Frederick, it will be remembered, was 
betrothed, more or less formally, to Princess Wil- 
helmina of Prussia, and his grandfather had promised 
that the nuptials should be solemnised when he 
next came to Hanover, but his death postponed the 
marriage. George the Second and Caroline, though 
they did not absolutely refuse the alliance, declined 
to be bound by the late King's word, and stipulated 
that their daughter Amelia should marry the Crown 


Prince of Prussia as a compensation. The Queen of 
Prussia was more than willing, but the King of 
Prussia did not want Amelia for a daughter-in-law 
any more than the King and Queen of England 
wanted Wilhelmina, and so matters came to a stand- 
still, to the despair of Queen Sophie Dorothea. " I 
will not have a daughter-in-law," said the King of 
Prussia to his Queen, "who carries her nose in the 
air and fills my Court with intrigues as others are 
already doing. Your Master Fritz [the Crown 
Prince] shall soon get a flogging at my hands ; and 
then I will look out for a marriage for him." 1 The 
Crown Prince was quite ready to marry Amelia or 
any one else, if it would give him some independence 
and protection from his father's ill-usage. Prince 
Frederick at Hanover declared himself in love with 
Wilhelmina, whom he had never seen, but Wilhelmina 
was anything but in love with Frederick. Her mother 
had so dinned him into her ears, and had given 
her such accounts of him, that she had grown to 
dislike him. " He is a good-natured prince," the 
Queen said to her daughter; "kind-hearted, but 
very foolish ; if you have sense enough to tolerate 
his mistresses, you will be able to do what you like 
with him." Wilhelmina declared that this was not 
the ideal husband of her young dreams ; she wanted 
some one whom she could look up to and respect, 
and she certainly could not respect Frederick. 

Prince Frederick's vanity was piqued at the delay 
and he was indignant at his father's neglect, so, early 

1 Memoirs of Wilhelmina, Margravine of Baireuth. 


in the year 1728, he determined to take matters into 
his own hands. He sent Lamotte, a Hanoverian 
officer, on a secret mission to Berlin to Sastot, one of 
the Queen's chamberlains. When Lamotte reached 
Berlin he went to Sastot and said : " I am the 
bearer of a most important confidential message. 
You must hide me somewhere in your house, that 
my arrival may remain unknown, and you must 
manage that one of my letters reaches the King." 
Sastot promised, but asked if his business were good 
or evil. "It will be good if people can hold their 
tongues," replied the Hanoverian, " but if they 
gossip it will be evil. However, as I know you are 
discreet, and as I require your help in obtaining an 
interview with the Queen, I must confide all to you. 
The Prince Frederick Louis intends being here in 
three weeks at the latest. He means to escape 
secretly from Hanover, brave his father's anger, 
and marry the Princess. He has entrusted me with 
the whole affair, and has sent me here to find out 
if his arrival would be agreeable to the King and 
Queen, and if they are still anxious for this marriage. 
If she is capable of keeping a secret and has no 
suspicious people about her, will you undertake to 
speak to the Queen on the subject ? " l 

The same evening the chamberlain went to 
Court and confided to the Queen the weighty 
communication with which he was entrusted. The 
Queen was overjoyed, and the next day communi- 
cated the glad news to her daughter. "'I shall at 

1 Memoirs of Wilhelmina, Margravine of Baireuth. 


length see you happy, and my wishes realised at 
the same time ; how much joy at once,' cried the 
Queen. ' I kissed her hands/ said Wilhelmina, 
'which I covered with tears.' 'You are crying,' 
my mother exclaimed. ' What is the matter ? ' 
I would not disturb her happiness, so I answered : 
' The thought of leaving you distresses me more 
than all the crowns of the world could delight me.' 
The Queen was only the more tender towards me in 
consequence, and then left me. I loved this dear 
mother truly, and had only spoken the truth to 
her. She left me in a terrible state of mind. I was 
cruelly torn between my affection for her, and my re- 
pugnance for the Prince, but I determined to leave 
all to Providence, which should direct my ways." 1 

The Queen held a reception the same even- 
ing, and, as ill-luck would have it, the English 
envoy Bourguait came. The Queen, forgetting 
her prudence, and thinking the plan was well 
matured, actually confided to him the Prince's 
project. Bourguait, overwhelmed with astonish- 
ment, asked the Queen if it were really true. 
" Certainly," she replied, " and to show you how 
true it is, he has sent Lamotte here, who has 
already informed the King of everything." "Oh! 
why does your Majesty tell me this ? I am 
wretched, for I must prevent it ! " exclaimed the 
envoy. Greatly dismayed, the Queen asked him 
why. " Because I am my Sovereign's envoy ; 
because my office requires of me that I should 

1 Memoirs of Wilhelmina, Margravine of Baireuth. 


inform him of so important a matter. I shall send 
off a messenger to England this very evening. 
Would to God I had known nothing of all this!" 
The Queen entreated him not to do so, but he was 
firm, and despatched the messenger to England. 
Thus did Queen Sophie Dorothea defeat the scheme 
for which she had toiled many years at the very 
moment of its fruition. 

On receipt of the news George the Second sent 
Colonel Lome to Hanover, with commands to bring 
the Prince over to England without an instant's 
delay. When Lome arrived at Hanover a few days 
later he found Prince Frederick giving a ball at 
Herrenhausen. He gave the King's message, and 
acted with so much despatch that at the end of the 
ball the Prince, escorted by Lome, and attended 
by only one servant, quitted Hanover for ever. 
His plot had failed ; there was nothing else to be 
done. The rage and disappointment when the news 
of the Prince's departure reached the Court of Berlin 
was very great. The King blustered and swore, 
called Wilhelmina " English canaille," and beat her 
and her brother in a shocking manner ; the Queen 
broke down and took to her bed ; Wilhelmina 
fainted away. But it was all to no purpose ; not 
only her marriage, but the double marriage scheme, 
vanished into thin air. 1 

1 Wilhelmina states in her Memoirs that the whole thing was a 
plot of George II., who wished to find an excuse for keeping his son 
away from England altogether, but the candour of the Queen of 
Prussia spoilt it all. But there is nothing to support this state- 


Frederick did not find a warm welcome awaiting 
him from his parents. The Prince landed in 
England the first week in December (1728), and 
made his way to London ; he arrived at St. James's 
without any ceremony, and was smuggled up the 
backstairs as though he had been a pretender rather 
than the heir-apparent to the crown. " Yesterday," 
we read, " His Royal Highness Prince Frederick 
came to Whitechapel about seven in the evening, 
and proceeded thence privately in a hackney coach 
to St. James's. His Royal Highness alighted at 
the Friary, and walked down to the Queen's back- 
stairs, and was there conducted to her Majesty's 
apartment." x 

It must have been a strange meeting between 
mother and son. The Queen received him amiably ; 
the succession could not be altered, so she determined 
to make the best of him, but the King was very 
harsh. George had an unnatural and deep-rooted 
aversion to his eldest son, whom he regarded as 
necessarily his enemy. This peculiarity was heredi- 
tary in the House of Hanover for some generations, 
for the Sovereign and his first-born were always at 
war with one another. Some pity must be extended 
to the young Prince, who never had a fair chance. 
He was only twenty-two years of age when he came 
to England, and he found himself among strangers 
and enemies in a country of which he knew nothing. 
He was very shy and frightened at first, and his 
father's manner did not tend to reassure him. 

1 Daily Post, 5th December, 1728. 


Lord Hervey says that, " Whenever the Prince 
was in the room with him (the King) it put one 
in mind of stories that one has heard of ghosts 
that appear to part of the company but are 
invisible to the rest ; and in this manner, wherever 
the Prince stood, though the King passed him ever 
so often, or ever so near, it always seemed as if the 
King thought the Prince filled a void of space ". 
The Prince did not dine in public at St. James's the 
Sunday after his arrival, but the Queen suffered him to 
hand her into her pew at the Chapel Royal, and this 
was his first appearance before the English Court. 
But, however much his parents might slight him, the 
fact remained that he was, by Act of Parliament, heir 
to the throne, and, through the insistence of the 
Privy Council, the King soon after his arrival created 
him Prince of Wales. But he was careful not to 
give him the allowance of ,100,000 a year which 
had been voted by Parliament for the Prince of 
Wales in the Civil List. True, Parliament had given 
the King control over the Prince's income, and he 
exercised it by giving him only a small allowance. 
The young Prince quickly made friends, some of 
them not of a very desirable character. He had 
been taught to speak English fairly well, and he 
had pleasant manners. He had inherited from his 
mother a taste for letters, and he also possessed the 
art of dissimulation and a love of intrigue. He had 
not the slightest affection for either of his parents- 
how could he have ? and he soon began to deceive 
them, a task in which he found plenty to help him. 


Lady Bristol in one of her letters gave a very 
flattering account of him as being "the most 
agreeable young man it is possible to imagine, 
without being the least handsome, his person little, 
but very well made and genteel, a loveliness in his 
eyes that is indescribable, and the most obliging 
address that can be conceived." The poets praised 
him ; and one sycophant rhapsodised over him as 
follows : 

Fresh as a rose-bud newly blown and fair 
As op'ning lilies : on whom every eye 
With joy and admiration dwells. See, see 
He rides his docile barb with manly grace. 
Is it Adonis for the chase arrayed 
Or Britain's second hope? 

The first hope presumably was the King, the 
other hopes were the rest of the royal children. 
They were not a lovable family, nor was there any 
love lost among them. They disliked one another 
thoroughly, but, with the exception of Frederick, 
they were all devoted to their mother, and they all 
united, Frederick included, in disliking their father, 
who on his part disliked them. The King had 
rarely a kind word for any of his children, and in 
his old age he admitted it. " I know I did not love 
my children," he said. "When they were young I 
hated to have them running about the room." Caro- 
line, on the other hand, was devoted to all her 
children, except the Prince of Wales, whom long 
absence had estranged from her. One of her first 
acts after becoming Queen was to dismiss the state 
governess, and have her daughters educated under 


her immediate supervision. She was a Spartan 
mother, and a firm believer in the proverb : " Spare 
the rod, spoil the child ". The Duchess of Marl- 
borough relates how on one occasion when she went 
to see the Queen, then Princess of Wales, she found 
her chastising little Prince William, who was roaring 
and kicking lustily. The Prince was looking on com- 
plaisantly. The duchess tried to soothe the youthful 
delinquent. " Ah, see, ' cried George Augustus, 
"you English are none of you well-bred, because 
you were not whipped when you were young. " 
" Umph ! " quoth her Grace. She afterwards said, 
" I thought to myself, I am sure you could not have 

been whipped when you were young, but I choked 

it in . 

Anne, Princess Royal, was now in her twentieth 
year. She had little beauty, and her figure was short 
and squat, but she had fair abilities and several 
accomplishments ; she could paint well, speak three 
languages, and was an excellent musician. Her 
favourite recreation was the opera, and she loved to 
get professional singers and players around her, and 
practise with them. She was vain and ambitious, 
and once told her mother that she wished she had 
no brothers, so that she might succeed to the throne. 
On the Queen's reproving her, she said : "I would 
die to-morrow to be Queen to-day". Unfortunately 
for her ambition, heirs to thrones or reigning mon- 
archs were in no wise attracted to her, and so far no 
eligible candidate for her hand had come forward. 
The Queen also once rebuked her for her lack of 


consideration to her ladies. She noticed one morn- 
ing that she kept her lady standing for a long 
time, conversing with her on some trifling matter, 
while she herself remained seated. In the evening 
Anne came to her mother to read to her and was 
about to sit down. " No, my dear," said the 
Queen, " you must not sit down at present, I 
intend to keep you standing for as long a time 
as you kept Lady - - in the same position this 

The second daughter, Princess Amelia, or Emily, 
as she was more generally called, was better looking 
than her sister and far cleverer. In her youth she 
had considerable pretensions to beauty, and her 
ready wit made her the most popular of the prin- 
cesses. " The Princess Amelia," writes Lady 
Pomfret enthusiastically to Mrs. Clayton, " is the 
oddest, or at least one of the oddest princesses 
that ever was known ; she has her ears shut to 
flattery and her heart open to honesty. She has 
honour, justice, good-nature, sense, wit, resolution, 
and more good qualities than I have time to tell 
you, so mixed that (if one is not a devil] it is im- 
possible to say she has too much or too little of any ; 
yet all these do not in anything (without exception) 
make her forget the King of England's daughter, 
which dignity she keeps up with such an obliging 
behaviour that she charms everybody. Do not 
believe her complaisance to me makes me say one 
silible more than the rigid truth ; though I confess 
she has gained my heart and has added one more 


to the number of those few whose desert forces one's 
affection." l 

This paragon of a princess had been the des- 
tined bride of the Crown Prince of Prussia after- 
wards Frederick the Great, but as the double 
marriage scheme fell through she continued single. 
Several minor German princes offered themselves, 
but she did not think them worthy of her acceptance. 
Yet she was far from indifferent to admiration, and 
had a liking for men's society. She was of a mascu- 
line turn of mind, and her happiest hours were 
passed in the hunting field, and the stables and 
kennels. She liked to spend much time with her 
horses and discuss their points minutely with the 
grooms, and one Sunday she shocked the good 
people of Hampton Court by going to church in a 
riding costume with a dog under each arm. She 
shared her father's passion for hunting, and was a 
far better rider than he. She used to hunt in a 
costume which was masculine rather than feminine, 
and rode hard and fearlessly, followed by her favour- 
ite groom, Spurrier. There is a curious portrait of 
her in a round hunting cap and laced scarlet coat, 
which makes her look like a man. She had flir- 
tations with the Duke of Newcastle and the Duke 
of Grafton ; that with the latter was serious. It 
went on for a long time, and the Princess seems 
really to have been attached to him, though he was 
much older than she. 

Countess of Pomfret to Mrs. Clayton, 22nd April, 1728. 
Sundon Correspondence. 


The Duke of Grafton, the Lord Chamberlain, 
was a grandson of Charles the Second, and had the 
personal beauty and charm of manner characteristic 
of the Fitzroys. He made no secret of his attentions 
to the Princess, and she received them with a great 
deal of favour. Queen Caroline was annoyed at 
what she considered was the duke's presumption 
in aspiring to be her daughter's lover. She also 
resented his familiar manner towards herself; he 
frequently addressed her as though he were her 
equal, and indeed he considered himself to be a scion 
of royalty. He once told her that he believed it 
was not in her nature to love any one, to which she 
replied: "But I love the King". He answered: 
" By God, ma'am, I do not know, but if I were 
King of France I would soon find out whether you 
did or not". He used to tease her also with the 
tale that she was in love with some German 
prince before her marriage to the Electoral Prince 
of Hanover, and ended by saying : " God, ma'am, 
I wish I could see the man you could love ". As 
she could not repress him, Caroline affected to 
treat these familiarities as a joke, but she secretly 
resented them. She did her best to put an end to 
the intimacy between her daughter and the duke, 
but without much effect. The Princess Amelia 
and the duke would go a-hunting together two 
or three times a week, and frequently rode away 
from the rest of the party. On one occasion at 
Windsor their attendants lost them altogether, and 
they did not return to the castle until long after it 




was dark. It was said that they had gone together 
to a private house in Windsor forest and there 
remained. The^King was absent from England at 
the time this happened, but the Queen was highly 
incensed, and soundly rated Amelia on her im- 
prudence. She would have complained to the King 
about the Duke of Grafton, but Walpole dissuaded 
her from doing so. The duke would not have cared, 
and it would have done the princess harm. 

The year after the King's accession to the 
throne Princess Amelia went to Bath to drink the 
waters, attended by Lady Pomfret. Royal visits 
to Bath were as yet few and far between, indeed 
the only royal personages who had visited Bath 
before the Princess were Queen Anne (before she 
came to the throne) with her husband Prince George 
of Denmark. 1 Princess Amelia was received by the 
Mayor and Corporation in full state, and a hundred 
young men on horseback met her coach at the 
North Gate and formed an escort to her lodgings. 
Bath had already become a gay and fashionable 
place, and many persons of quality and of no 
quality at all, who suffered from gout, rheumatism, 
the results of dissipation, or that mysterious ailment 
which the ladies of the eighteenth century called 
"vapours," flocked thither to drink the waters and 

1 Thackeray says in his Four Georges : " As for Bath, all history 
went and bathed and drank there ; George II. and his Queen," etc. 
In point of fact, neither George II. nor Queen Caroline went to 
Bath. Princess Amelia went in 1728; the Prince of Orange in 1734* 
the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1738, and Princesses Caroline 
and Mary in 1840. 

VOL. II. 7 


kill the time. The pump room and assembly 
rooms were ''elegantly fitted" and a band played 
daily. Breakfast parties were much the vogue at 
"one and twenty pence a piece," and the forenoon 
was passed in drinking the waters and listening 
to the concert. In the afternoon there were the 
bowling greens and the promenade in the gardens 
skirting the river, the toy shops and the coffee- 
houses where the beau monde loitered, drinking 
" dishes of tea" and eating Bath buns. In the even- 
ing there were cards and dancing and there was 
scandal all day long. Bath was then under the 
reign of " King" Nash, who had become its arbiter 
elegantiarum. Opinions differ as to the services 
Nash rendered to Bath. Some say he made the 
place ; others that he merely cloaked the grossness 
and licentiousness of the fashionable world there by 
throwing over it a garb of mock ceremony. Certainly 
Bath was a hotbed of gambling, and many undesir- 
able characters were attracted thither simply by the 
high play. 

Princess Amelia's arrival caused quite a flutter 
in the gay world of Bath. She took the waters in 
the morning, and after drinking them strolled in 
Harrison's walks, all the men and women of fashion 
following after her or keeping within a respectful 
distance. But there was one who would not pay 
her homage, and she was Lady Wigtown, a Jacobite 
peeress. One day in the public garden Lady Wig- 
town met the Princess face to face, and without 
taking the slightest notice of her, she pushed aside 


the ladies-in-waiting and walked past. Of this in- 
cident Lady Pomfret writes to Mrs. Clayton : " Lady 
Frances Manners asked me if I knew my Lady 
Wigtown (a Scottish countess). I said I had never 
heard of her in my life, and believed she had not 
yet sent to the Princess ; upon which both she and 
the Duchess of Rutland smiled, and said : ' No, 
nor will, I can tell you ; for seeing the Princess 
coming to the pump the morning before, she had 
run away like a Fury for fear of seeing her ; and 
declares so public an aversion for the King, etc., 
that she would not go to the ball made on the 
Queen's birthday ; and some of that subscription 
money remaining, the company had another ball, 
which she denied going to, and told all the people 
it was because the Queen's money made it'." 1 

These balls began at six o'clock in the evening, 
and were under the direction of Beau Nash, who 
commanded that they should be over by eleven at the 
latest. When the first stroke of the hour sounded 
the Beau waved his wand, and the music ceased, 
though it were in the middle of a dance. Once the 
Princess Amelia objected to this summary ending. 
" One more dance, Mr. Nash ; remember I am 
Princess." " Yes, madam, but I reign here and my 
law must be kept." 

It was creditable to the Princess Amelia that 
Lady Wigtown's rudeness made no difference to 
her courtesy to the other Jacobites and Roman 

Countess of Pomfret to Mrs. Clayton, Bath, 6th May 


Catholics, of whom just then Bath was full. Acting 
under instruction from her mother, she had a gracious 
word and a smile for all of them who came her 
way. Among others were the unfortunate Lord 
Widdrington and his lady. Lord Widdrington was 
one of the Jacobite peers condemned to death for 
the part they had taken in the rising of '15, but he 
was ultimately pardoned, though his estates were 
forfeited. He brought his broken health and ruined 
fortunes to Bath, where he was living in compara- 
tive poverty when the Princess Amelia came there. 
The Princess noticed Lady Widdrington in the 
Pump Room, and asked who she was. When she 
was told she talked to her, walked with her, and 
generally took much notice of her. "Her kindness," 
writes Lady Pomfret, " had such an effect upon all 
that sort [Jacobites] in this city that is hardly to be 
imagined, and they all speak of the Princess Amelia 
as of something that has charmed them ever since." 
But another lady in waiting, Mrs. Tichburne, was 
perturbed lest the Princess's graciousness to a 
"rebel's wife" should be misunderstood, and Lady 
Pomfret thought well to ask Mrs. Clayton to explain 
matters to the Queen. She need not have troubled, 
for the Princess had only done as the Queen wished. 
It is a pity that we cannot take leave of the 
Princess Amelia with this pleasing illustration of 
her amiability. But truth compels us to add that 
as she grew older her character sadly deteriorated. 
She developed into a hard, mean, inquisitive woman, 
and was often insolent without provocation. Per- 


haps this was due to the crossing of her young 
affections, and her nature, driven back upon itself, 
grew warped in the cramped atmosphere of the 
court. In later life Bath continued to be a favourite 
resort of the Princess Amelia, for here she could 
indulge in her love of cards and scandal without 
let or hindrance ; she used to play night after night 
for very high stakes, refreshing herself with pinches 
of snuff during the game. One night when she was 
playing in the public card room at Bath an old gen- 
eral, who was seated next her, ventured to take a 
pinch of snuff out of her box, which stood by him 
on the table. She haughtily stared at him without 
making any remark, and then beckoning to her 
footman, ordered him to throw the snuff in the 
fire and bring her a fresh box. Little peculiarities 
like this did not tend to make her popular, and 
she grew to be generally disliked. She lived far 
into the reign of her nephew George the Third, and 
died unmarried. 

The third daughter, Princess Caroline, was of 
a very different disposition to her elder sisters ; she 
had no beauty, and suffered from delicate health, 
but she had much quiet goodness and unobtrusive 
piety. When she was a child her parents used to 
say of her : " Send for Caroline, and then we shall 
know the truth ". She was the Queen's favourite 
daughter, and was greatly attached to her. Con- 
stantly with her mother, she was thrown a good 
deal into the companionship of Lord Hervey, and 
conceived for him a deep and lasting love, a most 


unfortunate attachment, as Lord Hervey was by no 
means a worthy object for her devotion, even if he 
had been able to requite it properly, which he could 
not, as he was married to the beautiful Lepel. Her 
attachment flattered his vanity, and he must have 
secretly encouraged it. The hopelessness of her 
passion made no difference to the gentle Princess ; 
she continued to cherish it until Lord Hervey's 
death, and even after his death she testified her 
devotion to his memory by showing great kind- 
ness to his children. After she lost her mother 
she became a confirmed invalid, and spent her life 
in retirement and works of benevolence. She died 

William, Duke of Cumberland, the second 
surviving son of George the Second and Caroline, 
was at the time they came to the throne a boy, 
and had not yet developed those unamiable quali- 
ties he displayed in later life, which earned for him 
undying infamy as " the butcher of Culloden ". He 
was a precocious youth, very grave and solemn in 
his demeanour, not caring to play like other boys, 
but preferring to mope in a corner over a book, or 
to gaze at uniforms and military evolutions for 
quite early in life he showed a strong predilection 
for the army. Some characteristic anecdotes are 
related of his early years. When a child he was 
taken on one of his birthdays to see his grand- 
father, George the First. The King asked him at 
what time he got up in the morning ; the young 
duke replied : " When the chimney-sweepers are 


about". The King asked: "Vat are de chimney- 
sweepers " ? " Have you been so long in England," 
said his grandson, "and do not know what a 
chimney-sweep is ? Why, he is like that man 
there ; " and he pointed to Lord Finch, afterwards 
Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham, who was in 
attendance. Lord Finch, like the rest of his family, 
"the black funereal Finches," had a very swarthy 
complexion, and after this he was generally known 
by the nickname of " The Chimney Sweep ". On 
another occasion, after a display of temper, his 
mother ordered the duke to be locked up in his 
room. When he came out he was downcast and 
sullen. " William," inquired the Queen, " what have 
you been doing ? " " Reading," he said shortly. 
"Reading what?" "The Bible." "And what 
did you read there ? " " About Jesus and Mary." 
" And what about them ? " asked the Queen. 
"Why," replied William, "that Jesus said to Mary : 
' Woman, what hast thou to do with me ? ' 

Lady Strafford has left an account of the Duke 
of Cumberland's birthday reception, a sort of chil- 
dren's party which represents the young prince in 
a more amiable light : 

"My love" (her son, Lord Wentworth), she 
writes, "is perfectly well and vastly delighted with 
his Court ball. I took him to Court in the morning, 
and the Queen cried out : ' Oh ! Lord Wentworth ! 
how do you do ? you have mightily grown My 
lady, he is prodigiously well dressed. I hope you 
will let him come to our ball to night.' After the 


drawing-room was over the duke had a levte in his 
own room, so I desired my brother to take him 
there, and the duke told him he hoped he would 
do him the favour to come at night. But as a great 
misfortune Lady Deloraine fell in labour, and was 
just brought to bed of a dead son ; so they could 
not have the room they used to dance in (it being 
next to hers), so they had a bad little room and they 
did not dance French dances. Princess Amelia 
asked Lord Wentworth to dance one with her, 
and afterwards the duke gave him Lady Caroline 
Fitzroy for his partner. They had a supper of cold 
chicken, tongue, jelly and sweetmeats, but they were 
(served) in an odd manner, for they had neither 
knives nor plates, so that well as my love loves 
eating, he says he ate but a leg of a chicken, for he 
says he did not (think) it looked well to be pulling 
greasy bones about in a room full of princesses ; 
the way of getting rid of the bones was the chil- 
dren threw them out of the window. The King 
was present to see them dance, but not the 
Queen. The ball ended about half an hour after 
ten. The duke was quite free and easy, and ex- 
tremely civil." 

Of the two younger princesses, Mary and Louisa, 
there is little to be said, as they were children 
during their mother's lifetime. Mary, like her sister 
Caroline, was of a soft and gentle disposition. Some 
years after her mother's death she was married to 
Frederick, Hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel, an 
obstinate, ill-tempered prince, who treated his wife 


with cruelty and infidelity, and her life was a very 
unhappy one. She survived her husband a few 

Princess Louisa, the youngest of them all, was by 
far the most beautiful of Queen Caroline's daughters, 
and inherited her mother's abilities and accomplish- 
ments. She married Frederick, Crown Prince of 
Denmark, and in due time became Queen of Den- 
mark. Her married life was not altogether happy, 
but she had her mother's philosophy and made 
the best of it. She died of the same illness as 
Queen Caroline, and curiously enough from the 
same cause concealing the nature of her malady 
until it was too late. 

Though the King enjoyed an enormous Civil 
List he was exceedingly mean to his children. To 
his daughters, though three of them had now grown 
up, he gave little or nothing. Anne and Amelia 
were often in need of pocket-money, and not above 
borrowing of the people about the court. Their 
dress allowance was exceedingly small, and if their 
mother had not helped them, they would scarcely 
have been able to make a presentable appearance 
at their father's drawing-rooms. There is a curious 
old paper extant, 1 endorsed " Mrs. Powis," who was 
probably dresser to the Princesses, which gives 
some idea of their wardrobe. The following extracts 
may be quoted : 

" What was delivered yearly for each Princess 
{Anne, Amelia and Caroline'] : 

1 In the Manuscript Department, British Museum. 


" Winter Clothes : 

Two coats embroider'd, one trim'd or rich stuff, and one velvet or 

rich silk without. 
Three coats brocaded or damask. 
A damask night-gown. 
Two silk under petecoats, trim'd with gold or silver. 

" Summer Clothes : 

Three flower'd coats, one of them with silver. 

Three plain or stripped lastrings. 

One night-gown and four silk hoops. 

Shoes : a pair every week. 

Gloves: sixteen dozen in the year; i8s. per dozen. 

Tans : no allowance, but they did not exceed eight guineas per 

Mouslines and lawns were bought as wanted, no settled price. 

" Sundries : 

No certain allowance for ribbons or artificial flowers. 

Powder, patches, combs, pins, quilted caps, band boxes, wax, pens 

and paper, came to about 40 per annum for the three princesses, 

paste for hands and pomatum came from the apothecary, Mr. 

Tagar, and did not come into my bill. 
I paid the tire woman 129 guineas a year. 
I paid for tuning the harpsichord, food for their birds, and many 

other little things belonging to their Royal Highnesses, which 

were too trifling to mention, which whilst the Duke was with 

them came to 50 per annum. 
Their Royal Highnesses had each a page of honour and gentleman 

usher at 100 sallary. 
Each one had a dresser at 50, and one chambermaid, I do not 

know at what sallary. 
Also one page of the backstairs. 
The Princesses used the Queen's coaches, footmen and grooms." 

The Princesses led singularly idle, purposeless 
lives ; Anne and Amelia chiefly occupied themselves 
with card-playing and the petty intrigues of the 
court, and the way their father treated them led 
them early to lie and practise the arts of dissimu- 
lation. Even Princess Caroline, when we have 


credited her with all the virtues, remains a colourless 
nonentity. The Princesses always appeared at court 
festivities and took part in whatever was going on, 
and the Queen would often relax some of the stiffness 
of etiquette for the benefit of the young people. For 
instance, sometimes after the evening drawing-rooms 
she would turn the function into a ball. We read : 

"On Monday night His Royal Highness the 
Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal opened a 
ball at Court with a minuet, and afterwards they 
danced several set dances with several of the quality 
till between four and five o'clock next morning. 
Her Majesty was richly dressed, and wore a 
flowered muslin hood with an edging. The Princess 
Royal had the like, which makes it believed that 
muslins will come into fashion. There never was 
seen so great an appearance, either for number or 
magnificence as on the like occasion." 1 

Nor was the King to be outdone in the splen- 
dour of his attire ; indeed he outshone the Queen, 
for he loved dress and display far more. We read : 
"His Majesty appeared in a suit of crimson velvet 
with gold buttons and button holes, sleeves faced 
with rich tissue, and a waistcoat of the same." 

The great days at court were the royal birth- 
days. The birthdays of the Prince of Wales and 
all the royal children were duly celebrated. The 
Queen's birthdays were always largely attended, and 
so were the King's at the beginning of the reign. 
But after his visits to Hanover he became very un- 

1 Daily Advertiser, 3rd March, 1731. 


popular, and he noted with ire that not only was the 
attendance meagre at his drawing-rooms, but there 
were no new clothes for the occasion. If any of the 
great nobility absented themselves from the drawing- 
rooms for any time, as some occasionally thought fit 
to do, they were generally conciliated by the Queen 
and persuaded to put in an appearance again. The 
birthday drawing-rooms were chiefly remarkable for 
the splendour of the clothes, every one appearing in 
his best, and even the royal footmen being arrayed 
in new liveries. " There was his Majesty in scarlet 
and gold," writes a correspondent; "the Duke of 
Cumberland in blue trimmed with silver ; the 
Princess Anne in silver and colours of yellow ; the 
Princess Louisa in a dark green velvet, embroidered 
in gold ; my Lady Browne in scarlet, with great 
roses not unlike large silver soup plates, made in an 
old silver lace, and spotted all over her gown." 

But these were great occasions ; in the ordinary 
way the private life of the court was dull, even in 
these early days of the reign, and there was little 
doing except ombre or quadrille. Peter Wentworth, 
who was now one of the Queen's equerries and was 
sometimes in attendance on the Prince of Wales 
and sometimes on the Princess Royal, gives a fair 
description of how the Royal Family spent their 
evenings. Writing to his brother Lord Strafford, 
he says : 

" The quadrille table is well known, and there is 
a large table surrounded by my master (the Prince 
of Wales), the Princesses, the Duke of Cumber- 


land, the bedchamber ladies, Lord Lumley, and all 
the belle-assemblte, at a most stupid game, to my 
mind, lottery ticket. ^100 is sometimes lost at this 
pastime. The maids play below with the King in 
Mrs. Howard's apartment, and the moment they 
come up, the Queen starts up and goes into her 
. apartment. . . . T'other night Lord Grantham and 
the Queen had a dispute about going to a room 
without passing by the backstairs ; she bade him 
go and see ; he did, and came back as positive as 
before. 4 Well,' says she, ' will you go along with 
me if I show you the way ? ' ' Yes, madam,' says 
he. Up she starts, and trots away with one candle, 
and came back triumphant over my Lord Grantham. 
The belle-assembUe was in an uproar, thinking the 
King was ill, when I told them 'twas a wager be- 
tween the Queen and my Lord Grantham." * 

The Queen was fond of these little jokes, for 
on another occasion we find Peter Wentworth 
writing : " Sunday, in the evening the Queen com- 
manded me to order her a chaise and one horse, and 
a coach and six to follow, for Monday, at six o'clock 
in the morn, and six Life Guards and two Grena- 
diers, and your humble servant a-horseback, which 
was to be kept a great secret. When I had put 
her Majesty into her chaise with Princess Mary, she 
bid me ride and tell the Colonel of the Guard not 
to beat the drum as she passed out [of St. James's]. 
We drove to the foot ferry at Kew, where there 

Hon. Peter Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford, loth 
August, 1730. 


was a barge of four oars which carried her Majesty, 
Princess Mary, Mrs. Purcell and I to the Queen's 
house at Kew. The whole joke of keeping this a 
secret was upon Lord Lifford, who had said 'twas 
impossible for her Majesty to go out at any time 
but he should know it. When we came there, 
therefore, the Queen sent for the other Princesses, 
Lord Hervey and Lord Lifford to breakfast with 
her. Lord Hervey, Princess Caroline and Princess 
Louisa came before ten ; the Queen, Mrs. Purcell 
and I walked twice round the garden before they 
came. We had a fine breakfast, with the addition 
of cherries and strawberries we plucked from the 
garden, some of which the Queen gave me with her 
own hand ; and said to Lord Hervey Cest un tres 
bon enfant, and repeated it several times, Lord 
Hervey assenting. I never suspected she spoke of 
me, which she, perceiving, said in English : 'We 
are speaking of you ; you know I love you, and 
you shall know I love, I do really love you'. I 
made low bows, but had not the impromptu wit 
nor assurance to make any other answer." 1 

And again : 

" On Saturday when the Queen was at Kew, 
the Blue Horse Guards in stocks stood sentry there. 
As she goes up the court she says to Lord Lifford 
and me : 'I'll lay you what you will he of the right 
is a Scotsman, and he of the left an Englishman and 
a Yorkshireman '. When she came up to them, she 

a The Hon. Peter Wentworth to the Earl of Stratford, London 
3rd June, 1735. 


asked him of the right, who was a handsome young 
fellow and a gentleman volunteer : ' What country- 
man are you?' 'A Scotsman, your Majesty.' 
'What's your name?' 'Hamilton.' 'Of what 
family ? ' ' The dukes of that name.' ' How long 
have you been in the regiment ? ' ' Ever since it 
has been the Duke of Argyll's.' Then she turns 
to t'other man, and asks what countryman he was ? 
'An Englishman, your Majesty.' 'Your name?' 
' Hill.' ' What county ? ' ' Yorkshire.' The Queen 
was pleased and so was I, for I would always have 
her pleased, and turned about to my lord and me, 
and said: ' N'est-ce pas que j'ay dit vray? Je 
connais bien la physiognomic.' ' 




IN May, 1729, the King, who had been for some 
time anxious to visit his Hanoverian dominions, 
which he had not seen since 1714, got a short Act 
passed through Parliament appointing the Queen to 
act as Regent in his absence. The King's visit to 
Hanover was very unpopular with his English sub- 
jects, who hoped that they had heard of the last 
of these journeys when George the First died. As 
Prince of Wales, George the Second had always 
declared that he loved England far better than 
Hanover, but this was only in opposition to his 
father, and soon after he ascended the throne he 
avowed himself strongly Hanoverian in his tastes 
and found fault with everything in England. In 
this mood the best thing for him to do was to 
return to his own country for a time, and Wai- 
pole no doubt was glad to get him out of the 
way, while the Queen eagerly grasped at the author- 
ity which the deed of regency granted her. But 
she showed none of this eagerness to the King, 
and when he announced his intention of leaving 


England she deplored his absence with tears, and 
received his commission on her knees with all due 
humility. The King gave the royal assent to the 
Act of Regency on May i4th, and three days 
later he set out for Hanover, accompanied by a 
numerous retinue, and Lord Townshend as Minister 
in attendance. 

The Queen appointed the Speaker of the House 
of Commons, Onslow, to be her Chancellor during 
her Regency, and Keeper of the Great Seal. She 
held her first Council as Regent five days after the 
King left. It was reported in the London Gazette 
as follows : 

"At the Court at Kensington the 22nd day of 
May, 1729. 

" Present. 
"The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, 

" His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor, Lord 
Privy Seal, Lord Steward, Lord Chamberlain, Duke 
of Somerset, Duke of Bolton, Duke of Rutland, 
Duke of Argyll, Duke of Montrose, Duke of Kent, 
Duke of Ancaster, Duke of Newcastle, Earl of 
Westmoreland, Earl of Burlington, Earl of Scar- 
borough, Earl of Coventry, Earl of Grantham, Earl 
of Godolphin, Earl of Loudoun, Earl of Findlater, 
Earl of Marchmont, Earl of Hay, Earl of Uxbridge, 
Earl of Sussex, Viscount Lonsdale, Viscount Cob- 
ham, Viscount Falmouth, Lord Wilmington, Mr. 
Speaker, Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Master 

VOL. II. 8 


of the Rolls, Sir Paul Methuen, and Henry Pelham, 

" The King's Commission appointing Her Most 
Excellent Majesty the Queen Regent over this 
Kingdom, by the Style and Title of Guardian of 
the Kingdom of Great Britain, and His Majesty's 
Lieutenant within the same during His Majesty's 
.absence, was this day by Her Majesty's command, 
opened and read in His Majesty's Most Honourable 
Privy Council, after which His Royal Highness the 
Prince of Wales, and all the Lords and others of the 
Council who were present, had the honour to kiss 
Her Majesty's hand." 

Caroline entered with manifest enjoyment upon 
the duties of her office, and discharged them with 
great ability ; she had so long known the essence of 
power that it was easy for her to adapt herself to 
its outward manifestation. Townshend, who was 
jealous of Walpole's favour with the Queen, en- 
deavoured to induce the King to modify her powers 
as Regent, and urged him to send a despatch to 
that effect from the Hague, but the King, though 
he listened, declined to do so ; in fact, he knew 
better than any one else that his interests were 
safe in his consort's hands. 

The Queen-Regent had the power of opening and 
proroguing Parliament, signifying the royal assent to 
acts and measures, appointing bishops, and of making 
other important appointments ; she also received the 
foreign ambassadors and envoys as though she were 
the King, and corresponded with foreign sovereigns. 








X S 


\ 1 

*\ * 













Queen Caroline was especially careful to cultivate 
and strengthen the good understanding between 
England and France, and she wrote several letters 
to the King of France, and sent him a present of 
a dozen hogsheads of perry and cider. 1 

The most important negotiation in foreign affairs 
was the Treaty of Seville, which was practically 
concluded during Caroline's regency, though it was 
not signed until a little later (November Qth, 
1729). This treaty terminated the long dispute 
between England and Spain. By its provisions, 
English trade to America, which had been in- 
terrupted, was restored. England was given back 
all that Spain had captured during the war, and 
the Asiento Treaty (or contract for supplying 
negroes, of establishing certain factories, and of 
sending one ship to the South Sea) was confirmed 
to the South Sea Company. But the most important 
feature of the treaty was that Gibraltar was tacitly 
relinquished by Spain. It would be too much to 
claim for Caroline the credit of the cession of Gib- 
raltar to England, but there is no doubt that her 
wise and temperate counsels, and her anxiety not 
to give needless offence to Spanish susceptibilities 
by mentioning the fortress by name, materially aided 
William Stanhope, the English plenipotentiary at 
Madrid, in conducting the difficult and delicate 
negotiations which resulted in the Treaty of Seville. 
Gibraltar was a question which touched Spanish 
pride very nearly, and to see a fortress on its own 

1 Daily Post, 5th July, 1729. 


shores held and garrisoned by England was as great 
a humiliation to Spain as England's possession of 
Calais had once been to France. 

Time had been, and not so long before, when 
English Ministers advised the recession of Gibraltar 
to Spain, and George the First had written a letter 
which contained a promise to restore the fortress at 
some future time. This letter had been written 
upon the advice of Townshend and Carteret in 1721, 
and so lately as 1728 we find that Townshend was 
still in favour of the cession of Gibraltar. Writing to 
Poyntz he declared : "What you proposed in relation 
to Gibraltar is certainly very reasonable, and is exactly 
conformable to the opinion which you know I have 
always entertained concerning that place ; but you 
cannot but be sensible of the violent and almost 
superstitious zeal which has of late prevailed among 
all parties of this kingdom against any scheme for the 
restitution of Gibraltar upon any conditions what- 
soever." 1 If the matter had rested with Townshend, 
who had obtained the ear of the King during his 
absence at Hanover, Gibraltar would probably have 
been ceded to Spain. 

To Caroline, therefore, acting in conjunction with 
Walpole, the credit is due of having retained it for 
England. True, Gibraltar was not mentioned by 
name in the Treaty of Seville, though the Opposition 
clamoured for its explicit mention. But the Queen 
and the Prime Minister were firm ; they were con- 
tent with the kernel and troubled not about the 

1 Lord Townshend to Poyntz, I4th June, 1728. 


husk. The result justified their wisdom. The 
treaty was ultimately ratified without conditions, and 
Gibraltar henceforth became a recognised possession 
of England. 

In this, as in all other matters, the Queen worked 
in close accord with Walpole, and by way of showing 
the Opposition how little she heeded their attacks, 
she publicly marked her favour of the Prime Minister 
by going to dine with him, accompanied by the 
Prince of Wales and all the Royal Family, at his 
house at Chelsea, where a magnificent entertainment 
was provided for her Majesty. The Queen and 
the Royal Family dined in one room, and the rest 
of the party in another, Walpole himself waiting on 
his illustrious guest. Nor did the Queen neglect 
the ceremonial side of her office ; she kept great 
state whilst she was at St. James's, and on the 
anniversary (June iith) of the King's Accession 
she held a court at St. James's which was one of 
the most largely attended of the reign. She also 
frequently honoured the nobility with her presence 
at their entertainments. 

At Windsor Caroline kept much company, avail- 
ing herself of the King's absence to go there. At 
Windsor she felt Queen of England indeed ; she 
occupied the rooms which had been used by the 
late Queen Anne, and her favourite sitting room 
was the closet wherein Anne first heard of the 
great victory of Blenheim, in which hung the 
banner annually presented by the Duke of Marl- 
borough, and now by his daughter, who was duchess 


in her own right. Caroline held drawing-rooms in 
the state apartments, of which the finest were the 
magnificent St. George's Hall and the ball room, 
hung with tapestry representing the seasons of the 
year. The celebrated collection of beauties by 
Sir Peter Lely, afterwards removed to Hampton 
Court, adorned one of the state apartments, and 
the private chapel had some exquisite carved work 
by Grinling Gibbons. Here Caroline attended 
divine service, and, seated in the royal closet hung 
with crimson velvet, listened to lengthy discourses 
from Dr. Samuel Clarke, or some other favourite 

It was from Windsor on a notable occasion that 
she drove to honour the Earl and Countess of 
Orkney with a visit to their beautiful seat at 
Clieveden. " Yesterday," writes Peter Wentworth, 
" the Queen and all the Royal Family went to 
dine and supper at Clieveden. How they were 
diverted I know not, but I believe very well, for 
they did not come home until almost four in the 
morning." l According to all accounts the entertain- 
ment was very successful, but Lady Orkney's 
anxieties as a hostess seem to have weighed heavily 
upon her, for we find her writing a long letter a few 
days later to Mrs. Howard, expressing her "anguish " 
because some little things had gone wrong. Per- 
haps, Lady Orkney only wanted a more particular 
expression of the Queen's satisfaction. Her letter 
may be quoted as an expression of the fulsome 

1 Letter of Peter Wentworth to Lord Strafford, 3ist July, 1729. 


servility to royal personages then in vogue even 
among the high nobility. 

"CLIEVEDEN, August ^th, 1739. 


" I give you this trouble out of the anguish 
of my mind, to have the Queen doing us the honour 
to dine here, and nothing performed in the order it 
ought to have been ! The stools which were set 
for the Royal Family, though distinguished from 
ours, which I thought right, because the Princess 
Royal sits so at quadrille, put away by Lord 
Grantham, 1 who said there was to be no distinction 
from princes and princesses and the ladies. He 
directed the tablecloths so that there must be two to 
cover the table ; for he used to have it so ; in short, 
turned the servants' heads. They kept back the 
dinner too long for her Majesty after i was dished, 
and was set before the fire, and made it look not 
well dressed, the Duke of Grafton saying they 
wanted a mattre cf hotel. All this vexed my Lord 
Orkney so he tells me he hopes I will never 
meddle more, if he could ever hope for the same 
honour ; which I own I did too much, as I see by 
the success, but having done it for the late King, 2 
and was told that things were in that order, that it 
was as if his Majesty had lived here, I ventured it 
now, but 1 have promised not to aim at it more. 

1 Chamberlain to the Queen. 

2 On the 5th September, 1724, King George I., attended by many 
of the nobility and gentry, dined with Lord Orkney at Clieveden, 
where he was magnificently entertained. 


" But what I have said shows the greater good- 
ness in the Queen to be so very easy. I have seen 
condescension in princesses, but none that ever 
came up to her Majesty : nay, not all the good 
you. have ever said could make me imagine what I 
saw and heard. We all agreed her Majesty must be 
admired ; and, if I may use the term, it was impos- 
sible to see her and not love her. 

"If you hear of these mismanagements, pray be 
so good as to say the house was too little for the 
reception of the Queen, and so many great princes 
and princesses, who, without flattery, cannot be but 
respectedly admired. I thought I had turned my 
mind in a philosophical way of having done with 
the world, but I find I have deceived myself ; for 
I am vexed and pleased with the honours I have 
received. I know from your discretion you will 
burn this, and I hope will always believe me, etc., 

"E. ORKNEY." 1 

From Windsor the Queen returned to Ken- 
sington, which she made her headquarters for the 
rest of the summer, paying visits occasionally to 
Hampton Court, Richmond, and Windsor, for the 
purpose of hunting. The best idea of the social 
side of her regency may be gathered from the 
letters that Peter Wentworth wrote during this 
period to Lord Strafford. 2 They throw curious 

1 Suffolk Correspondence. 

2 These letters are preserved in the Manuscript Department of 
the British Museum. Some of them have been published in the Went- 
worth Papers, but many of those quoted here have never been printed. 


sidelights on the manners of the time. To quote 
seriatim : 

" KENSINGTON, July 25^, 1729. 

" I have been at Richmond again with the Queen 
and the Royal Family, and I thank God they are 
all very well. We are to go there to-day, and the 
Queen walks about there all day long. I shall be 
no more her jest as a lover of drink at free cost, 
not only from her own observation of one whom she 
sees every morning at eight o'clock, and in the even- 
ing again at seven, walking in the gardens, and in 
the drawing-room till after ten, but because she has 
my Lord Lifford to play upon, who this day 
sen'night got drunk at Richmond. His manner of 
getting so was pleasant enough ; he dined with my 
good Lord Grantham, who is well served at his 
table with meat, but very stingy and sparing in his 
drink, for as soon as his dinner is done he and his 
company rise, and no round of toasts. So my lord 
made good use of his time whilst at dinner, and 
before they rose the Prince [of Wales] came to them 
and drank a bonpere to my Lord Lifford, which he 
pledged, and began another to him, and so a third. 
The Duke of Grafton, to show the Prince he had 
done his business, gave him (Lord Lifford) a little 
shove, and threw him off his chair upon the ground, 
and then took him up and carried him to the Queen. 
Sunday morning she railed at him before all the Court 
upon getting drunk in her company, and upon his 
gallantry and coquetry with Princess Amelia, run- 


ning up and down the steps with her. When some- 
body told him the Queen was there and saw him, 
his answer was : ' What do I care for the Queen ? ' 
He stood all her jokes not only with French impu- 
dence, but with Irish assurance. For all you say I 
don't wonder I blushed for him and wished for half 
his stock. I wonder at her making it so public. 
Nobody has made a song ; if Mr. Hambleton will 
make one that shall praise the Queen and the Royal 
Family's good humour, and expose as much as he 
pleases the folly of Lord Grantham and Lord Lifford, 
I will show it to the Prince, and I know he won't tell 
whom he had it from, for I have lately obliged him 
with the sight of Mrs. Fitzwillianis litany, and he 
has promised he will not say he had it from me. So 
I must beg you to say nothing of this to Lady 
Strafford, for she will write it for news to Lady 
Charlotte Roussie, and then I shall have Mrs. Fitz. 
angry with me, and the Prince laughing at me for 
not being able to be my own councillor, as I fear 
you laugh now. But if you betray me I make a 
solemn vow I never will tell you anything again. 

" The Queen continues very kind and obliging 
in her sayings to me, and gave me t'other day an 
opportunity to tell her of my circumstances. As we 
were driving by Chelsea she asked me what that 
walled place was called. I told her Chelsea Park, 
and in the time of the Bubbles 'twas designed for 
the silkworms. 1 She asked me if I was not in the 
Bubbles. With a sigh, I answered : ' Yes, that, and 

1 One of the Bubble schemes. 


my fire had made me worse than nothing'. Some 
time after, when I did not think she saw me, I was 
biting my nails. She called to me and said : ' Oh fie ! 
Mr. Wentworth, you bite your nails very prettily '. 
I begged her pardon for doing so in her presence, but 
said I did it for vexation of my circumstances, and 
to save a crown from Dr. Lamb for cutting them. 
She said she was sorry I had anything to vex me, 
and I did well to save my money. The Prince told 
her I was one of the most diligent servants he ever 
saw. I bowed and smiled as if I thought he ban- 
tered me. He understood me, and therefore re- 
peated again that he meant it seriously and upon 
his word he thought that the Queen was happy in 
having so good a servant. I told him 'twas a great 
satisfaction to me to meet with his Royal Highness's 
approbation. He clapped his hand upon my shoulder 
and assured me that I had it. 

" As we went to Richmond last Wednesday our 
grooms had a battle with a carter that would not go 
out of the way. The good Queen had compassion 
for the rascal and ordered me to ride after him and 
give him a crown. I desired her Majesty to recall 
that order, for the fellow was a very saucy fellow, 
and I saw him strike the Prince's groom first, and if 
we gave him anything for his beating 'twould be an 
example to others to stop the way a purpose to 
provoke a beating. The Prince approved what I 
said, for he said much the same to her in Dutch, and 
I got immortal fame among the liverymen, who are 
no small fools at this Court. I told her if she would 


give the crown to anybody it should be to the 
Prince's groom, who had the carter's long whip 
over his shoulders. She laughed, but saved her 

" KENSINGTON, August i^/t, 1729. 

" The Queen has done me the honour to refer 
me for my orders to her Royal Highness Princess 
Anne, and what is agreed by her will please her 
Majesty ; the height of my ambition is to please 
them all. I flatter myself I have done so hitherto, 
for Princess Anne has distinguished me with a 
singular mark of her favour, for she has made me a 
present of a hunting suit of clothes, which is blue, 
trimmed with gold, and faced and lined with red. 
The Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, the Duke of 
Cumberland, Princess Mary and Princess Louisa 
wear the same, and looked charming pretty in 
them. Thursday se'nnight, Windsor Forest will 
be blessed with their presence again, and since the 
forest was a forest it never had such a fine set of 
hunters, for a world of gentlemen have had the 
ambition to follow his Royal Highness's fashion. 

" On Saturday last at Richmond Park, Major 
Sylvine made his appearance by the Queen's chaise, 
and she did him the honour to take notice of him, 
telling him she was glad to see he could hunt. He 
thought to be witty upon me by telling her Majesty 
I took such delight in waiting that he thought it a 
pity to deprive me of that pleasure. My good and 
gracious Queen answered him to my satisfaction 


and to his mortification, for she said : ' Does he ? So 
'tis a sign he loves me, and I love him the better 
for't.' He replied he hoped her Majesty did not 
think the worse of him. She had the goodness to 
say ' No,' but repeated again that she loved me 
the better. Princess Amelia, who was in the chaise 
with her, turned her head from Sylvine and smiled 
most graciously upon me, which I could answer in 
no other way than by low bows to mark the sense of 
the great honour that was done me. And for my 
life I could not forbear getting behind the chaise 
to triumph over and insult the major, telling him 
he had got much by being witty upon me, which 
Princess Amelia heard, and laughed again upon 

" KENSINGTON, Atigust 2ist, 1729. 

" Yesterday the Queen and all the Royal Family 
dined at Claremont, 1 and I dined with the Duke (of 
Newcastle) and Sir Robert (Walpole), etc. The 
Prince of Wales came to us as soon as his, and 
our, dinner was over, and drank a bumper of rack- 
punch to the Queen's health, which you may be 
sure I devotedly pledged, and he was going on with 
another, but her Majesty sent us word that she was 
going to walk in the garden, so that broke up the 
company. We walked till candle-light, being enter- 
tained with very fine French horns, then returned 
to the great hall, and everybody agreed never was 
anything finer lit. 

Claremont was one of the seats of the Duke of Newcastle. 


"Her Majesty and Princess Caroline, Lady 
Charlotte Roussie and Mr. Schiitz played their 
quadrille. In the next room the Prince had the 
fiddles and danced, and he did me the honour 
to ask me if I could dance a country-dance. I 
told him ' yes ' ; and if there had been a partner 
for me. I should have made one in that glorious 
company the Prince with the Duchess of New- 
castle, the Duke of Newcastle with Princess Anne, 
the Duke of Grafton with Princess Amelia, Sir 
Robert Walpole with Lady Catherine Pelham, 
who is with child so they danced but two dances. 
The Queen came from her cards to see that sight, 
and before she said it, I thought he (Sir Robert 
Walpole) moved surprisingly genteelly, and his 
dancing really became him, which I should not have 
believed if I had not seen, and, if you please, you 
may suspend your belief until you see the same. 
Lord Lifford danced with Lady Fanny Manners ; 
when they came to an easy dance my dear duke 
took her from my lord, and I must confess it became 
him better than the man I wish to be my friend, 
Sir Robert, which you will easily believe. Mr. 
Henry Pelham 1 danced with Lady Albemarle, Lord 
James Cavendish with Lady Middleton, and Mr. 
Lumley with Betty Spence. 

" I paid my court sometimes to the carders, and 
sometimes to the dancers. The Queen told Lord 

Right Hon. Henry Pelham, son of Lord Pelham and 
brother of Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, whose title had 
been revived in his favour by George the First. 


Lifford that he had not drunk enough to make 
him gay, ' and there is honest Mr. Wentworth has 
not drunk enough '. I told her I had drunk her 
Majesty's health ; ' And my children's too, I hope ? 
I answered ' Yes '. But she told me there was 
one health I had forgot, which was the Duke and 
Duchess of Newcastle's, who had entertained us so 
well. I told her I had been down among the coach- 
men to see they had obeyed my orders to keep 
themselves sober, and I had had them all by the 
hand, and could witness for them that they were 
so, and it would not have been decent for me to 
examine them about it without I had kept myself 
sober, but now that grand duty was over, I was at 
leisure to obey her Majesty's commands. There 
stood at the farther end of the room a table with 
bottles of wine for the dancers to drink, and I went 
and filled a bumper of burgundy and drank the 
duke's and duchess's health to Mr. Lumley, and 
told him I did it by her Majesty's command, and 
then I went to the dancers, and he to the Queen, 
and told her I had done so. When I came to her 
again she told me she was glad I had obeyed her 
commands, and I thanked Mr. Lumley for the 
justice he had done me in telling it to the Queen, 
which drew this compliment from him, that he 
should always be ready to do me justice, or any 
service in his power. I beg my son may have no 
occasion to grieve that I have now and again taken 
a glass too much, for in my cups I shall call upon 
Mr. Lumley to remember me, and 'tis through these 


merry companions, or through rich friends that 
services are done for people. 

" The Queen and the Prince have invited them- 
selves to the Duke of Grafton's hunting seat, which 
lies near Richmond, Saturday. He fended off for 
a great while, saying his house was not fit to receive 
them, and 'twas so old he was afraid 'twould 
fall upon their heads. But his Royal Highness, 
who is very quick at good inventions, told him 
he would bring tents and pitch them in his garden, 
so his Grace's excuse did not come off ; the thing 
must be Saturday. 

" I have sent you enclosed a copy of my letter 
I wrote to Lord Pomfret, which will explain to you 
how I am made secretary to the Queen, 1 and before 
dinner, under pretence to know if I had taken her 
Majesty's sense aright, her Royal Highness (the 
Princess Royal) being by when I received the 
orders, I desired leave to show it her. She smiled 
and said : ' By all means let me see it '. She kept 
it till she had dined, read it to the Queen, her 
brothers and sisters, and then sent for me from the 
gentlemen ushers' table, and gave it to me, again 
thanked me, and said it was very well writ, and 
she saw too that I could dine at that table without 
being drunk at free cost." 

" KENSINGTON, September 2nd, 1729. 

"Yesterday when the Queen was just got into 
her chaise there came a messenger who brought 

1 This was probably a practical joke played on Peter Wentworth, 
as he never held the office of secretary to the Queen. 


her a packet of letters from the King with the good 
news that his Majesty was very well. He had 
left him at the play this day se'nnight. It also said 
the guards of Hanover were not to march, for all 
differences were accommodated between the King 
and the King of Prussia, so that I hope now the 
match will go forward l and that we shall soon have 
the King here. The Queen opened the letter and 
read it as she went along ; the Princess [Anne] and 
the Duke [of Cumberland] were riding on before, and 
neither saw nor heard anything of this. Therefore I 
scoured away from the Queen to tell them the good 
news, and then I rode back and told the Queen what 
I had done, and that I had pleasure to be the 
messenger of good news. She and they thanked 
me .and commended what I had done. I have sent 
you a copy of the orders I have been given to-day 
that you may see we go in for a continual round of 

"KENSINGTON, September i6th, 1729. 

"There was one Mr. W(entworth) who had 
a very agreeable present from the Queen. As he 
went over with her in the ferry boat Saturday s'en- 
night she gave a purse to Princess Anne, and bade 
her give it to Mr. W(entworth). Then she told 
him she wished him good luck, and in order that 
she might bring it to him, she had given him silver 
and gold, a sixpence, a shilling, and a half-guinea. 

J The double marriage scheme which had cropped up again for 
a brief space. 

VOL. II. 9 


He took the purse, and gave her Majesty a great 
many thanks. ' What,' said she, ' will you not look 
into't ? ' His answer was : ' Whatever comes from 
your Majesty is agreeable to him ; ' though if he 
had not felt in the purse some paper, he could not 
have taken the royal jest with so good a grace. 
There was a bank bill in't, which raised such a 
contention between him and his wife that in a 
manner he had better never have had it. He was 
willing to give her half, but the good wife called in 
worthy Madam Percade to her assistance, and she 
determined to give a third to her. 

" All this was told the Queen the next day, and 
caused a great laugh, but put poor Mr. W(entworth) 
upon the thought of soliciting the great Lord L(ifTord) 
for a sum of ^15 he had forgotten to pay him in 
the South Sea. When the chase was over the 
Prince clapped Mr. W(entworth) on the back and 
wished him joy of his present, and told him now he 
would never be without money in his pocket. He 
replied if his Highness had not told him so publicly 
of it, it might have been so, but now his creditors 
would tease every farthing from him." 

The King who had been at Hanover five months 
now made ready to return to England. 1 He had 

1 Thackeray inaccurately says that "in the year 1729 he (King 
George II.) went over two whole years, during which time Caroline 
reigned for him in England, and he was not in the least missed by 
his British subjects". The King was only away from March to 
September, 1729, and then returned to England, where he remained 
until 1732, when he again went to Hanover. 

-- , TWk 5>i -- ' : |""--.a TIP;**"- * 

, Cs ^ |S~ fee 


greatly enjoyed his visit to the Electorate, and had 
given several fetes, including a farewell masquerade 
in the gardens of Herrenhausen, where the hedges 
of clipped hornbeam acted as screens and the grass 
as a carpet ; the whole scene was illuminated by 
coloured lights. 1 The King followed at Hanover 
the same clockwork rule he had established in Eng- 
land. "Our life is as uniform as that of a monastery," 
wrote one of the King's English retinue who was 
lodged at the Leine Schloss. " Every morning at 
eleven and every evening at six we drive in the heat 
to Herrenhausen through an enormous linden avenue ; 
and twice a day cover our coats and coaches with 
dust. In the King's society there is never the least 
change. At table, and at cards, he sees always the 
same faces, and at the end of the game retires into 
his chamber. Twice a week there is a French 
theatre ; the other days there is a play in the 
gallery. In this way, were the King always to stop 
in Hanover, one could take a ten years' calendar 
of his proceedings, and settle beforehand what his 
time of business, meals, and pleasure would be." 

It was during this visit of George the Second to 
Hanover that his dispute with the King of Prussia 
came to a crisis. The King of England resented 
the King of Prussia's connivance at his son 
Frederick's disobedience, but he could hardly make 
that the ostensible pretext for a quarrel, so he 
raked up the old grievance of the Prussians hav- 
ing kidnapped some of his tall Hanoverians for 

1 Vide Vehse, Gcschichte der Deutschen Hofe. 


the Potsdam regiment of guards, and so violent 
grew the altercation, and so insulting were the 
messages of the King of Prussia, that the choleric 
little George sent him word challenging him to 
single combat at any place he would name, and 
leaving him the choice of weapons. It would have 
been a boon to Europe in general, and to England 
and Prussia in particular, if these two royal com- 
batants had met and killed one another as they 
threatened to do, but unfortunately such a desirable 
consummation was prevented by Lord Townshend, 
whose remonstrances resulted in a compromise 
being patched up between the illustrious cousins. 
In fact, so amicably were matters settled that pre- 
tended negotiations were again set on foot for the 
marriage of the Prince of Wales with Wilhelmina. 
The Prince professed himself most eager for the 
match, and wrote to Hotham, the special envoy 
at Berlin : "Please, dear Hotham, get my marriage 
settled, my impatience increases daily, for I am 
quite foolishly in love ". Wilhelmina, however, 
says that she did not credit these romantic senti- 
ments, and she thought they were due rather 
to obstinacy than love. Her father was quite 
indifferent as to whether the Prince of Wales's 
desire to wed his daughter proceeded from love 
or obstinacy; all he wished was that Wilhelmina 
should be taken off his hands, and given a suitable 
establishment. King George had the same feeling 
about Amelia, whom he still desired to marry to the 
Crown Prince. The King of Prussia's answer to 


this was : " I will agree to my son's marriage if he 
is made Regent of Hanover, and allowed to direct 
the management of the electorate till my death, and 
if provision is made for his maintenance". These 
terms were, of course, impossible, and the matter 
came to an end. 

The King quitted Hanover with regret, and 
commanded that everything should remain at 
Herrenhausen precisely the same as when he was 
there. The pomp and circumstance of the electoral 
court suffered no abatement in his absence ; the 
splendid stables containing eight hundred horses 
were maintained at their full strength, and the 
chamberlains, court marshals, and others continued 
to receive their full salaries. The King appointed 
no regent over the electorate in his absence ; his 
uncle, the Duke of York was dead, and his son, 
the Prince of Wales, was now in England, so he 
placed the government of the electorate in the hands 
of a council of regency, and as a substitute for his 
own most gracious presence at the levees the King's 
portrait as Elector was placed upon the vacant 
throne in the state room at Herrenhausen. Every 
Saturday a levee was held as though the Elector 
(for they did not officially recognise the King of 
England at Hanover) had been there, and the 
courtiers assembled and made their bow to the 
picture on the chair of state just as though it had 
been the Elector himself. This absurd ceremony 
continued through George the Second's reign, except 
when he was at Hanover. 


The King landed at Margate on September 
nth, and at once posted to London, where his 
Queen and Regent was eagerly expecting him. So 
anxious was she that when the outriders came on 
ahead to Kensington Palace to announce that the 
King was nearing London, the Queen set out on foot, 
accompanied by all her children, and walked from 
Kensington, through Hyde Park, down Piccadilly 
to St. James's Park where she met the King's 
coach. The King stopped, alighted, and heartily 
embraced his consort in the sight of all the people. 
Then he helped her back into the coach, when 
they drove off to Kensington together amid the 
cheers of the populace, followed by other coaches 
containing the King's suite and the princes and 
princesses. The devotion which the Queen showed 
to the King and the evident affection he bore her 
are the best features (one might almost say the only 
good features), of the Court of England at this period. 
Peter Wentworth, who writes to his brother of 
this royal meeting, says: "The King is happily 
arrived. . . . You see I am got into the prints by 
the honour the Queen did me, alone of all her ser- 
vants, to send me to meet the King. I was the only 
gentleman servant with her when she walked, Mon- 
day se'nnight, with all her roval children, from 
Kensington Gardens quite to the island of St. 
James's Park. Passages there are better told than 
writ, which I design myself the honour to do very 
soon though I find virtue retires no more to 
cottages and cells, but secure of public triumph 


and applause, she makes the British Court her 
imperial residence." 

The next day, at a meeting of the Privy Council, 
the Queen, kneeling, delivered her commission of 
regency back into the King's hands, and rendered 
him an account of her stewardship. 




SOON after the King's return from Hanover, matters 
came to a crisis between Townshend and Walpole. 
Ill-feeling had existed for some time, and the Treaty 
of Seville served to irritate it. The King, who 
had a great regard for a minister who had served 
him long and faithfully, was reluctant to let Town- 
shend go, but the Queen, who saw in him an obstacle 
to her plans, was anxious to be quit of him, and 
when once she made up her mind, it was not long 
before she got what she wanted. She suspected 
that Townshend was in league with Mrs. Howard, 
and she could not forgive his having endeavoured 
to curtail her powers as Regent. Moreover, Town- 
shend, who had always treated her with scant 
respect, had so far forgotten himself as to make 
a scene in her presence. 

One evening, when the court was at Windsor, 
the Queen asked Townshend where he had dined 
that day, and he told her with Lord and Lady 
Trevor. Walpole, who was standing by, said with 
his usual coarse pleasantry : " My Lord, madam, I 


think is grown coquet from a long widowhood, and has 
some design upon my Lady Trevor's virtue, for his 
assiduity of late in that family is grown to be so 
much more than common civility, that, without this 
solution, I know not how to account for it." That 
Walpole was only joking was evident from the fact 
that Lady Trevor, besides being a most virtuous 
matron, was very old, and exceedingly ugly. But 
Townshend, who was eager to take offence, flew 
into a passion, and replied with great warmth : "No, 
sir, I am not one of those fine gentlemen who find 
no time of life, nor any station in the world, pre- 
servatives against follies and immoralities that are 
hardly excusable when youth and idleness make us 
most liable to such temptations. They are liberties, 
sir, which I can assure you I am as far from taking, 
as from approving ; nor have I either a constitution 
that requires such practices, a purse that can support 
them, or a conscience that can digest them." He 
went white to the lips as he said this, his voice 
shook, and he trembled with rage, and was ready 
to spring at Walpole. His answer was intended to 
be offensive. Walpole led a notoriously immoral 
life, and had lately made himself the talk of the 
town by his amour with Maria, or Moll, Skerrett, 
and the caricatures and ballads of the day teemed 
with the coarsest allusions to this intrigue. But 
Walpole kept his temper, and, with a shrug of his 
shoulders, answered Townshend quietly : " What, 
my Lord, all this for my Lady Trevor!" Townshend 
would have retorted with heat, but the Queen, who 


was exceedingly uneasy at the scene, turned the 
subject with a laugh, and began to talk very fast 
about something else. 

A variety of causes conspired to aggravate 
Townshend's jealousy of his brother-in-law and 
former friend. Walpole put the case bluntly by say- 
ing that " so long as the firm was Townshend and 
Walpole things went all right, but the moment it 
became Walpole and Townshend things went all 
wrong ; " but this was not all the truth. Walpole 
had built a magnificent house at Houghton in Nor- 
folk, which completely overshadowed Townshend's 
at Rainham, in the same county. At Houghton he 
gave frequent entertainments, to which politicians 
and place-hunters flocked in great numbers, turning 
their backs on Townshend. Walpole kept a sort of 
public table, which was much frequented by the 
country gentlemen, and the house was always full. 
Scenes of the wildest revelry were enacted at 
Houghton, and Walpole's hospitality often degener- 
ated into drunken orgies disfigured by licence of con- 
duct and coarseness of speech. His annual parties 
in the shooting season were said to cost as much as 
,3,000. " The noise and uproar," says Coxe, his 
panegyrist, "the waste and confusion were prodigious. 
The best friends of Sir Robert W r alpole in vain 
remonstrated against the scene of riot and misrule. 
As the Minister himself was fond of mirth and 
jollity, the conviviality of their meetings was too 
frequently carried to excess, and Lord Townshend, 
whose dignity of deportment and decorum of 


character revolted against these scenes, which he 
called the bacchanalian orgies of Hough ton, not 
infrequently quitted Rainham during their continu- 
ance." l 

To Hough ton Walpole often brought his mis- 
tress, Maria Skerrett, whom he maintained openly, 
notwithstanding that his wife was still alive. He 
had one daughter by her. 2 Maria Skerrett's origin 
was uncertain, though it was not so obscure as 
her enemies made out ; she was a friend of Lady 
Mary Wortley Montagu, and her contemporaries 
have testified to her good heart. But she was an 
immoral woman of great licence of speech and 
behaviour, and it is doubtful whether Walpole was 
her first lover. He gave her ,5,000 down, and a 
large allowance. The Prime Minister's conduct in 
this matter gave great disgust to Townshend and 
the stricter of his supporters. The Queen, however, 
made light of it, saying that she " was glad if he 
had any amusement for his leisure hours," but she 
couldn't understand how he could care for a woman 
who evidently loved him only for his money. While 
of Skerrett, she said : " She must be a clever woman 
to have made him believe she cares for him on any 
other score ; and to show you what fools we all are 
in some point or other, she certainly has told him 
some fine story or other of her love and her passion, 

1 Coxe's Life of Walpole. 

2 This daughter was eventually given the rank of earl's daughter, 
and married Mr. Churchill, a son of General Churchill. Walpole 
married Maria Skerrett after his wife's death, but she died soon 
after her marriage. 


and that poor man avec ce gros corps, ces jambes 
enfldes, et ce vilain ventre believes her. Ah ! what 
is human nature ! " 

As the differences between Walpole and Town- 
shend extended not only to their political relations 
but to their private life, it was not long before 
matters came to a crisis. They were dining one 
night with Colonel Selwyn and his lady in Cleve- 
land Row, opposite St. James's Palace, and after 
dinner, when Walpole, as usual, had drunk too 
much wine, a dispute arose in which the Prime 
Minister so far lost his usual good humour as to 
reply to a taunt of Townshend's by shouting : " My 
Lord, for once there is no man's sincerity whom I 
so much doubt as your Lordship's". Townshend, 
who was of a hasty temperament, sprang at 
Walpole and seized him by the throat ; the Prime 
Minister laid hold of his antagonist in turn, they 
struggled together and clapped hands on their 
swords. The whole party was in an uproar ; Mrs. 
Selwyn shrieked and ran out of the house to sum- 
mon the palace guard, but she was stopped by 
Henry Pelham, who entreated her not to make a 
scandal, and used the same argument with the two 
Ministers. After a time they were pacified a little, 
and a duel was prevented ; but the quarrel was too 
serious to be patched up. 

Townshend shortly after resigned his office in 
the Government and withdrew to Rainham ; he 
embarked no more in politics, but spent the rest 
of his days in improving agriculture. His retire- 


ment meant more than appeared on the surface, 
for he had considerable influence with the King. 
It involved also the ascendency of the Queen 
and the defeat of Mrs. Howard, whose friend he 
was. Henceforward there was no one to thwart 
the influence of the Queen and Walpole. William 
Stanhope, who had been created Lord Harrington 
for his services in connexion with the Treaty of 
Seville, was now made Secretary of State. He was 
an admirable diplomatist but a poor speaker, and 
though he made but an indifferent figure in Parlia- 
ment, his moderation, prudence and sagacity made 
him a very useful minister. Lord Harrington and 
the Duke of Newcastle were now the only persons 
of any importance in the Government except its 

Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, was one 
of the greatest noblemen of his time by sheer force 
of his wealth. He had an enormous rent roll, he 
maintained princely establishments, he spent freely 
on display, yet he was unable to attach to himself 
a single friend. "The Duke of Newcastle," writes 
one who knew him, " hath spent half a million and 
made the fortunes of five hundred men, and yet 
is not allowed to have one real friend." 1 But the 
fact that he scattered lavish sums at elections to 
support the Hanoverian succession, owned a large 
number of boroughs and had vast patronage, sufficed 
to give him many apparent friends, from the King 
downwards. He was a poor speaker, he was weak 

1 Dr. King's Anecdotes of My Own Time. 


and mean-spirited, and his ignorance of matters con- 
nected with his office was almost incredible. On one 
occasion the defence of Annapolis was recommended 
to him. " Ah ! " he said after some reflection, " to 
be sure, Annapolis ought to be defended ; of course, 
Annapolis must be defended. By the by, where is 
Annapolis?" As we have seen, the King when 
Prince of Wales had the strongest aversion to him, 
but now the duke stood high in office. Yet the 
King does not seem to have loved him. "You 
see," he said to one of his friends, " I am compelled 
to take the Duke of Newcastle to be my minister, 
though he is not fit to be a chamberlain in the 
smallest court of Germany." But, however poor 
the duke's capacity might be, he had great wealth 
and influence, and then, as now, men of his type 
were foisted on the public service to the detriment 
of the nation. 

For the first time since the accession of the House 
of Hanover to the throne, the Government had re- 
spite from Jacobite intrigues. The Treaty of Seville 
(1729) and the second Treaty of Vienna (1731) 
established friendly relations between the English 
Government and all the European powers, so that 
none of them, not even Roman Catholic countries 
like Spain and Austria, could any longer lend out- 
ward support to James. Moreover the Jacobite 
party lost, almost at the same time, all their greatest 
men. Lord Mar died at Aix-la-Chapelle. The 
Duke of Wharton, who, while pretending loyalty 
to his master, had been negotiating for a return to 


England, died in Spain in comparative poverty, and 
so closed his career of splendid infamy. Bishop 
Atterbury, the ablest of all, had fallen out of favour 
with James, chiefly because of his wish to bring up 
the young Prince Charles Edward in the faith of 
the Church of England. When James saw the folly 
of alienating him it was too late. Atterbury died a 
few weeks after he had sent to James a copy of his 
vindication of the charges brought against him by 
Lord Inverness, and the Jacobite cause lost its wisest 

James was so unpopular in England at this 
time, even among his own supporters, that societies 
were formed to discuss the propriety of transferring 
their allegiance to his son, Prince Charles Edward, 
and reports were persistently circulated that the 
young Prince was to be taken from his father's 
guardianship and brought up in the religion of 
the Church of England. This plan was at first 
supported by Bolingbroke, who did his utmost to 
bring it about, and it gained so much credence that 
in 1733 Sir Archer Croft declared in the House of 
Commons that " The Pretender was the more to be 
feared because they did not know but that he was 
then breeding his son a Protestant M . 1 Had this been 
true it would have been the severest possible blow 
for the Hanoverian family. It would have done 
away with their reason for occupying the throne, and 
though they could not have been expected to abdicate 
of their own free will, yet the personal unpopularity 

1 Parliamentary History, vol. viii., p. 1,185. 


of the King after the Queen's death was so great 
that the rising of '45 would probably have had a 
different ending. But it was not true, for in matters 
of religion James was as great a bigot as his father, 
and Atterbury's death put an end to all such plans. 

The Duchess of Buckingham often went to 
Paris to have conferences with Atterbury on this 
question, and the Bishop used his influence with 
her to prevent the Duke of Berwick from giving 
a Roman Catholic tutor to her son, the young duke. 
The duchess pretended that her interviews with 
Atterbury were wholly connected with her son's 
education, but Walpole knew that was only a pretext 
to hide her Jacobite intrigues. The duchess had a 
great position in England as head of the Jacobite 
ladies ; she was in fact a sort of Jacobite Duchess of 
Marlborough, and a rival of that illustrious dowager, 
whom in arrogance and pride she strongly resembled. 
Like her she possessed enormous wealth, and Buck- 
ingham House vied in magnificence with Marlborough 
House across the park. Both the duchesses disliked 
and despised the Hanoverian family, though from 
different reasons, and both masked their dislike, and 
occasionally did the King and Queen the honour, as 
they considered it, of attending their drawing-rooms. 
The two duchesses were on friendly terms, but oc- 
casionally had their differences. The Duchess of 
Buckingham lost her son, and his remains were 
brought from Rome to be interred in Westminster 
Abbey with great pomp. She sent to her neighbour 
across the park, the Duchess Sarah, to ask the loan 


of the funeral car which had borne the body of the 
great Duke of Marlborough to St. Paul's. Sarah 
spurned this request with contumely : " It carried 
my Lord Marlborough," she sent word to say, "and 
it shall never be used for any meaner mortal." " I 
have consulted the undertaker," wrote back the other 
duchess, "and he tells me I can have a finer for 
twenty pounds." 

The Duchess of Buckingham made frequent jour- 
neys to Paris and Rome to intrigue in favour of 
the Stuarts, of whom she considered herself one ; she 
paid visits to Cardinal Fleury at Versailles, but ac- 
cording to a contemporary a she got nothing from 
the cardinal but compliments and civil excuses, and 
was laughed at both in Paris and Rome for her 
pompous manner of travelling, in which she affected 
the state of a princess of the blood royal. On her 
visits to Paris she always made a pilgrimage to 
the church in which the unburied body of James 
the Second lay, and prayed and wept over it 
Horace Wai pole says, with a characteristic touch 
of malice, that despite this outward show of grief 
she allowed the royal pall to rot itself threadbare 
through her parsimony. It is more likely that 
sentiment prevented her from having it repaired. 
To Sir Robert Walpole, who knew all her intrigues 
almost before she embarked upon them, and who 
treated her as a person of no importance, she 
made extraordinary overtures to induce him to 
join with her in effecting the restoration of the 

1 Dr. King's Anecdotes of My Own Time. 
VOL. II. 10 


Stuarts. She knew that Walpole was very fond of his 
daughter by Maria Skerrett, and she hinted to him 
that it might be possible to wed her to Prince Charles 
Edward if he would embrace the Stuart cause. 
She asked him if he remembered what Lord Clar- 
endon's reward had been for helping to restore the 
royal family ; Sir Robert affected not to understand, 
and she said : " Was he not allowed to match his 
daughter to the Duke of York ? " Walpole smiled 
and changed the subject. The King had not the 
same patience with the Duchess of Buckingham's 
eccentricities as his Prime Minister, and would 
probably have taken some action against her had 
not Caroline counselled the wiser policy of ignoring 
her Grace's quixotic proceedings ; but on one occa- 
sion the duchess was really frightened lest the King 
should discover her little plots. She had quitted 
England without having obtained the requisite 
permission, and she wrote to Walpole from Boulogne : 
" I know there is a usual form, as I take it only to 
be esteemed, of any peer's asking permission of the 
King (or Queen in the present circumstance) to go 
out of the kingdom, but even that ceremony I 
thought reached not to women, whose being in and 
out of their country seemed never to be of the least 
consequence". In the same letter she alludes to 
her intrigues, and speaks of them as "nonsensical 
stories " not worthy of credence. Walpole took her 
letter to the Queen, who was then Regent, and they 
laughed over it together, but they let "Princess" 
Buckingham, as they called her, alone. 



From the Painting in the National Portrait Gallery 


While the Stuarts were losing ground Caroline 
was working hard and incessantly to make the 
Hanoverian family acceptable to the English 
nation. By birth a foreign princess, one who did 
not arrive upon these shores until well into middle 
life, she could not boast that she was " entirely 
English " like Queen Anne, but it is remarkable, 
considering the great and obvious disadvantages 
under which she laboured, how well she succeeded in 
impressing her personality upon the English people. 
She was careful to express herself in public in 
warm admiration of the laws, customs and con- 
stitution of this country ; she often declared that 
England owed everything to its liberties. Yet 
sometimes when the King abused England, as he 
invariably did after a visit to Hanover, speaking of 
the English people as " king-killers " and "republi- 
cans," and grumbling at their riches as well as their 
rights, she would fall into his vein, and rail against 
the limited powers of the Crown, which rendered 
the King "a puppet of sovereignty " and a servant 
of Parliament. It is probable that she chafed against 
the limitations to the power of the Sovereign, for 
she was a woman who loved to rule ; but in theory 
she was all for liberty and tolerance. But what- 
ever her predilections, she clearly understood, and 
acquiesced in, the only possible terms by which the 
Hanoverian family were allowed to reign in Eng- 
land. As she could not increase the limited power 
of the Crown in political matters, she determined to 
increase its unlimited influence in other directions, 


and to this end she encouraged everything which 
helped to promote the well-being and prosperity of 
the people, especially those movements which had 
a national origin. This was especially the case with 
home industries. For example, we read : 

"On Saturday last a considerable body of dealers 
in bone-lace from the counties of Bucks, Northamp- 
ton and Bedford, waited upon her Majesty with a 
petition on behalf of their manufacture, and carried 
with them a parcel of lace to show the perfection 
they had brought it to, and when her Majesty 
showed her royal intention to encourage the British 
manufacturer by receiving them very graciously, 
and bought a considerable quantity of lace for 
the use of the Royal Family, and several ladies 
followed her example, the said dealers in lace 
had the honour to kiss her Majesty's hand." 1 And 
again : "On Wednesday last some of the Trustees 
for Georgia and Sir Thomas Loombe waited upon 
her Majesty with the Georgia silk, which is to be 
wove into a piece for her Majesty's wear, from a 
beautiful pattern which her Majesty chose, and she, 
in a most gracious manner, expressed satisfaction 
at the British Colonies having produced so fine a 
silk." 2 

She was quick to encourage English inventions 
and enterprise. For instance : " On Monday Mr. 
Clay, the inventor of the machine watches in the 
Strand, had the honour of exhibiting to her 

1 Daily Courant, 2nd February, 1730. 

2 Hooker's Miscellany, 6th August, 1735. 


Majesty at Kensington his surprising musical 
clock, which gave uncommon satisfaction to all 
the Royal Family present, at which time her 
Majesty, to encourage so great an artist, was 
pleased to order fifty guineas to be expended for 
numbers in the intended rafHe. by which we hear 
Mr. Clay intends to dispose of this said beautiful 
and most complete piece of machinery." 1 And 
again : " On Tuesday a most beautiful hat, 
curiously made of feathers in imitation of a fine 
Brussels lace, was shown to her Majesty, who, for 
the encouragement of ingenuity, being the first of 
the kind ever made in England, was so good as to 
purchase it, and afterwards presented it to the 
Princess of Wales." 2 

There was very little social legislation during 
Walpole's tenure of power, the great Minister going 
on the principle of letting things alone ; but a few 
useful reforms were passed from time to time, and 
in all of them the Queen took a warm interest. One 
was effected at the instance of the Duke of Argyll, 
who brought in a bill that all proceedings of the 
courts of justice should be conducted in English 
instead of Latin as heretofore. " Our prayers," 
said the Duke of Argyll, " are in our native tongue, 
so that they are intelligible ; and why should not 
the laws wherein our lives and properties are con- 
cerned be so, for the same reason ? " The measure 
was carried, notwithstanding the fact that most of the 

1 Daily Post, ist September, 1736. 

2 Weekly Journal, 8th May, 1736. 


lawyers strongly opposed the change ; Lord Ray- 
mond, for instance, declared that if the bill were 
passed the law must likewise be translated into 
Welsh, since in Wales many understood no English. 
Another reform was the purging of the Charitable 
Corporation from gross abuses. This corporation 
had been formed for the relief of the industrious 
poor by lending them small sums of money at 
legal interest, but had drifted into malpractices and 
extortionate usury ; penalties were now inflicted 
upon the malefactors, and the whole system was 

The Queen's private charities were very numer- 
ous. She would never refuse a supplicant who 
sought her aid, in whatever rank of life he might 
be, and though her income was large, she spent all 
of it, chiefly upon others. She had no sense of the 
value of money, and with her to have was to spend, 
or to give away, not always very wisely perhaps, 
but always cheerfully. The journals of the period 
teem with notices of her liberality ; but, even so, 
they did not represent a tithe of her charities, for 
she gave away much in secret, of which the public 
never knew. The following extracts from news- 
papers, taken almost at random, will serve to show 
how wide was her sympathy, and how generous her 
impulses : 

"Twelve French Protestants, who were made 
slaves on account of their religion, having lately 
been released from the jails of France on the re- 
presentation of their Britannic Majesties, and having 


arrived here, a charitable collection is making for 
them, towards which the Queen has given ,1,000." l 

"Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to 
give and bestow the sum of ,500, as a mark of her 
royal bounty and charity, towards the relief of the 
sufferers in the late dreadful fire at Gravesend in 
Kent." 2 

"We hear that her Majesty has ordered a sum 
of money to relieve poor housekeepers and other 
families in necessity." 3 

" Thursday last week, the wife of the drummer at 
Woolwich, lately brought to bed of three children, 
waited on the Queen, and her Majesty ordered her 
fifty guineas." 4 

"Mr. James Brown, one of the pages of the 
presence to her Majesty, having been ill of the 
palsy this year, and now lying incapable of doing 
his duty, her Majesty has been pleased to order 
that he should be paid his salary of ^40 per annum 
during his life." 5 

" On Tuesday last, her Majesty, together with the 
Duke and the three Princesses, paid a visit to Mrs. 
Simpson, whose husband is one of the keepers of 
Bushey Park. She is 106 years old, being born 
in the town of Cardigan in the year 1625, is now in 
good health, and has all her senses, except hearing, 
perfect. Her Majesty after expressing herself pleased 

1 Stamford Mercury, nth January, 1728. 
2 Daily Post, 3oth January, 1728. 

3 Fog's Weekly Journal, 7th December, 1728. 

4 Weekly Journal, 2Oth July, 1728. 

5 London Journal, 24th April, 1731. 


with the manner of life by which she had preserved 
herself to this good old age, made her a present of 
a purse of gold." l 

" As soon as her Majesty heard of the misfortune 
of the country girl's breaking both her thigh bones 
by the overturning of a cart near Hampton Court, 
she sent some ladies to enquire the truth of it, and 
being satisfied thereof, her Majesty was graciously 
pleased to order one guinea a week to be paid for 
her lodging, nurse and diet, and directed the surgeon 
to take particular care of the girl, and her Majesty 
would pay him." 

" Her Majesty being informed of the great benefit 
the inhabitants of the city and liberties of West- 
minster received from the infirmaries established 
there for the relief of such of their poor as are sick 
and lame, has been graciously pleased to send to 
each such infirmary a bounty of ^100 to promote 
so useful a charity." 3 

"We hear that her Majesty has lately given to 
the hospital near Hyde Park Corner, the sum of 

t( Last Saturday when the Royal Family returned 
from hunting, her Majesty was told by Lady Delo- 
raine that the Princess Louisa had been pleased to 
stand godmother to the twins of Mrs. Palairet, wife 
of her Highness's writing master. Whereupon her 

1 Daily Post, 23rd September, 1731. 
a Daily Courant , ist October, 1733. 

3 Hooker's Miscellany, 2Oth April, 1734. 

4 Reed's Weekly Journal, i$th June, 1734. 


Majesty ordered the motherand children to be brought 
to her, when her Majesty, finding that Mrs. Palairet 
intended to suckle them both herself, was graciously 
pleased with the courage and tenderness of the 
mother in undertaking the hard task, and ordered 
her a purse of guineas." l 

" Last Sunday a great number of the widows of 
the Navy, whose husbands died before August, 
1732, and were unprovided, waited on the Queen 
at Kensington with their humble address of thanks 
for the provision they lately received upon their 
humble petition presented to her Majesty on Sun- 
day, 29th April." 2 

" Her Majesty going through Hammersmith was 
pleased to order ten guineas for the poor haymakers, 
who were very numerous on the road." 3 

" Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to send 
fifty guineas towards the relief of the unhappy suf- 
ferers by the late fire in Cecil's Court in St. Martin's 
Lane." 4 

"Her Majesty has been pleased to declare her 
royal intention of bestowing ,5,000 towards building 
and endowing a hospital for foundling children." 5 

"Her Majesty has been pleased to order the royal 
gardens at Richmond to be free to all in the same 
manner as those at Kensington are when the Royal 
Family does not reside there, so that the walks are 

1 Daily Journal, 26th October, 1734. 

2 Hooker's Miscellany, xyth June, 1735. 

3 General Evening Post, ijth June, 1735. 
4 Hooker's Miscellany, izth July, 1736. 

6 Reed's Weekly Journal, 3ist July, 1736. 


full of company every evening to the great advantage 
of the town and the neighbourhood." l 

" Her Majesty has been pleased to grant a charter 
and to give a donation to the governors of the 
infirmary at Hyde Park Corner, to establish them- 
selves into a corporation, the same to be called St. 
George's Hospital." 2 

Queen Caroline was a constant and generous 
patron of learning ; she twice gave donations of 
;i,ooo to Queen's College, Oxford, and she tried 
in many ways to advance the interests of education. 
Science, especially medical science, found in her 
a warm supporter. Under the guidance of Sir 
Hans Sloane, President of the Royal Society, she 
lent her aid to any movement to promote the health 
of the people, and any doctor or man of science who 
distinguished himself was sure of receiving notice 
and encouragement from her. Perhaps her most 
notable achievement in the advancement of science 
was the support which she gave to Lady Mary 
Wortley Montagu, who, on her return from the East, 
introduced inoculation as a safeguard against small- 
pox into England. This beneficent discovery was 
opposed with great clamour by the clergy, the more 
ignorant of the doctors, and the middle and lower 
classes, and Lady Mary would certainly have failed 
had not Caroline stood by her side from first to last. 
She and her husband and children were inoculated, 
and by her example and determination she pre- 

1 Universal Spectator, nth September, 1736. 
*Reed's Weekly Journal, i8th September, 1736. 


vailed on the higher classes and the more enlightened 
people to be inoculated also, and so make the prac- 
tice general. 

Queen Caroline held firmly to the principle that 
the welfare of the people should be the first care of 
princes, and she strove in every way to ameliorate 
their lot. Parliament did little for them in Caroline's 
day, the era of social legislation had scarcely begun 
to dawn. The wars of nations, the conflicts of 
dynasties, the strife of creeds absorbed all energies, 
and in the noise and heat thus engendered the needs 
of the people were thrust aside and forgotten. The 
condition of the poor not only in the large towns, 
but in the country districts, was deplorable in the 
extreme. Many of them were sunk in ignorance and 
vice, and treated like beasts of burden. There was 
much talk about the liberties of the nation, but the 
lower classes of the people were little better than 
serfs. Neither Whig nor Tory did anything for 
them ; they had no votes and the politician passed 
them by. Under such conditions the influence of 
one woman, however highly placed, could do little. 
Let it be recorded that in an epoch when the duty of 
man to his fellow-man was least understood, when 
the national selfishness was greatest and the national 
ideals were lowest, Queen Caroline did what she 




QUEEN CAROLINE is distinguished from the other 
Queens-Consort of England as the one who took 
a genuine interest in literature ; in this respect she 
surpassed all our Queens-Regnant as well, though 
Elizabeth, and in a far lesser sense Anne, showed 
an appreciation of letters. The age of Elizabeth 
has been called the golden age of English liter- 
ature : the reign of Anne the Augustan period. 
There can be no doubt as to the correctness of 
the first of these designations ; the second is open 
to cavil. But though the English writers who 
flourished during the early part of the eighteenth 
century could not compare in loftiness or genius 
to the writers of the reign of Elizabeth, yet they 
formed a galaxy of talent talent amounting in 
some instances to positive genius which England 
has never witnessed since. This galaxy shone 
throughout the reigns of Anne and George the First, 
but soon after Caroline came to the throne its brilliance 
began to wane. Some of the greatest writers were 
dead, and others had already given their best work 
to the world. 

It must be admitted that Queen Caroline's 


judgment in literature was not always as sound as 
her interest was genuine in English literature at 
least. Her imperfect knowledge of the English 
language had something to do with this ; one 
can hardly master the literature of a country if one 
does not begin to speak its language until middle 
life. In French and German literature she was 
far better equipped. She had read much and 
widely of them both, and of her favourite studies 
of metaphysics, philosophy and theology had per- 
haps taken in more than she could assimilate. Her 
correspondence with learned and scientific men kept 
her abreast of the best thought of the time, and no 
work of conspicuous merit made its appearance in 
Europe without Caroline's coming, directly or in- 
directly, in touch with its author. When Voltaire, 
for instance, visited England he received ready help 
and generous appreciation at Caroline's hands. 

Voltaire came to England in 1726, after his 
quarrel with the Duke de Sully. Some months' 
detention in the Bastille, followed by an order to 
quit Paris, had driven him into exile. In the 
warmth of his welcome to England he found a 
balm for his wounded feelings, and he stayed in 
this country more than two years. He found in 
England many congenial spirits, and delighted 
in the freedom of discussion and latitude of opinion 
everywhere prevalent, from the Court downwards, 
especially in the brilliant literary circle where he 
foregathered. He warmly admired the religious and 
civil liberty of England, and testified his admira- 


tion in his Lettres Philosophiques, also called Lettres 
sur les Anglais. He wrote in England his Tragedy 
of Brutus, and here also he brought out, in 
1728, the first edition of his poem La Henriade. 
To Caroline, who often received him at Leicester 
House as Princess of Wales, and who welcomed 
him with equal cordiality at court when she became 
Queen, he dedicated this edition of La Henriade. 
The dedication, in English, ran as follows : 


" MADAM It was the fate of Henry the Fourth 
to be protected by an English Queen. He was 
assisted by the great Elizabeth, who was in her age 
the glory of her sex. By whom can his memory be 
so well protected as by her who resembles so much 
Elizabeth in her personal virtues ? 

" Your Majesty will find in this book bold, 
impartial truths ; morality unstained with supersti- 
tion ; a spirit of liberty, equally abhorrent of rebellion 
and of tyranny; the rights of kings always asserted, 
and those of mankind never laid aside. 

" The same spirit in which it is written gave me 
the confidence to offer it to the virtuous Consort of a 
King who, among so many crowned heads, enjoys 
almost alone the inestimable honour of ruling a 
free nation; a King who makes his power consist 
in being beloved, and his glory in being just. 

" Our Descartes, who was the greatest phil- 
osopher in Europe before Sir Isaac Newton ap- 
peared, dedicated the Principles to the celebrated 


Princess Palatine Elizabeth ; not, said he, because 
she was a princess (for true philosophers respect 
princes, and never flatter them) ; but because of all 
his readers she understood him the best, and loved 
truth the most. 

" I beg leave, Madam (without comparing myself 
to Descartes), to dedicate La Henriade to your 
Majesty upon the like account, and not only as the 
protectress of all arts and sciences, but as the best 
judge of them. 

" I am, with that profound respect which is due 
to the greatest virtue as well as the highest rank, 
may it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most 
humble, most dutiful, and most obliged servant, 


Even if we allow for flattery, and Voltaire was 
not given to flattering princes, this dedication is a 
remarkable tribute to Caroline's mental powers and 
her interest in the arts. Voltaire must have known 
of her friendship with Sir Isaac Newton ; he had 
probably heard of her admiration for Queen Eliza- 
beth ; and he skilfully wove allusions to both in his 

The first edition of La Henriade was sold to 
subscribers at one guinea a copy, and had a great 
success. The Queen herself solicited subscriptions 
for it among her friends, and the edition was soon 
exhausted. Nor did her interest stop here. She 
persuaded the King to give Voltaire a present of 
two thousand crowns, equal to ^500, and she added 


to this a further present of ^200 from her privy 
purse, and sent Voltaire her portrait. 

English men of letters were not so fortunate as 
Voltaire in winning the favour of the court. When 
she was Princess of Wales Caroline made welcome 
any literary man of eminence to Leicester House 
whatever his creed or party, Papist or Arian, Jacobite, 
Whig or Tory. George the First's contempt for 
literature made her graciousness the more marked, 
and perhaps it was her affability and eagerness 
to please that gave rise to expectations which were 
later unfulfilled. For it is certain that many emi- 
nent writers of prose and verse expected great 
things when Caroline became Queen ; and it is 
equally certain that they were grievously disap- 
pointed. Whether with all the goodwill in the 
world, and all the power, the Queen could have 
satisfied every one of them may be doubted, for the 
literary mind is not prone to underrate its merits. 
As events turned out she could do little or nothing 
for any man of letters, unless he were eligible for 
preferment in the Church. She found herself as 
Queen in a position of less freedom and greater re- 
sponsibility. She was as anxious as ever to befriend 
literary men, but in this respect she found herself 
thwarted by the King and opposed by Walpole ; her 
difficulties too were increased by the fact that nearly 
every writer of talent was either openly or secretly 
hostile to the Government. 

For this hostility Walpole was to blame ; he 
had inaugurated a new policy. During the reign 


of William and Anne, and even in the reign of 
George the First while Townshend and Stanhope 
were Prime Ministers, literary men were courted and 
caressed by those in authority. In short it has 
been well said that " though the Sovereign was 
never an Augustus every minister was a Maecenas ". 
Lucrative places were found for many writers in 
departments of the civil service, and others were 
aided to enter Parliament or diplomacy. 

But when Walpole became Prime Minister in 
1721 he changed all this, and set his face like a 
flint against employing literary men in the public 
service in any capacity whatsoever. In this he was 
supported by George the First, and his successor 
George the Second, who both despised literature and 
never opened a book. The number of readers was 
far more limited then than now (though perhaps they 
were more discriminating), and writing books was 
consequently less lucrative. When men of talent 
and genius saw the avenues of patronage and of 
usefulness in the State suddenly closed to them by 
the Prime Minister, it is no wonder that they placed 
their pens at the service of the Opposition, led as it 
was by two men so appreciative of the claims of liter- 
ature as Bolingbroke and Pulteney. But Walpole 
did not heed, and for twenty years followed the 
same policy. " No writer need apply " was written 
over every door that led to preferment in the State. 
But in the long run the writers had their revenge, 
and his neglect of the pamphleteers was one of the 
chief causes that led to Walpole's fall. 



Queen Caroline had promised so fair when 
Princess of Wales, and her influence over her hus- 
band was known to be so great, that many literary 
men looked forward to her coming to the throne as 
likely to bring about a revival of the Augustan age 
of Queen Anne. They were bitterly disappointed 
when they found her in close accord with the Minister 
who had slammed the door of patronage in their 
faces, and many considered that she had betrayed 
them. They forgot that in an alliance like that 
between the Queen and Walpole each had to 
yield something, and the Queen yielded some of 
her interest in letters for the larger interests she 
had at stake. It was a pity that with so real a 
desire to help literature Caroline was able to do so 
little. It was a still greater pity that after she be- 
came Queen her relations with some of the greatest 
English men of letters, like Swift, Gay and Pope, 
were strained to breaking point. The fault was 
not all on her side, and in some cases the breach 
was inevitable, but it was none the less unfortunate. 

Swift, who had fallen with Bolingbroke in 1714, 
visited England in 1726, for the first time since the 
death of Queen Anne, probably with the object of 
effecting a reconciliation with the reigning dynasty. 
He made the acquaintance of Mrs. Howard through 
his friends Pope and Gay, and was introduced by 
her to Caroline, then Princess of Wales. Writing 
years later to the Duchess of Queensberry, who hated 
Caroline, Swift declared that "a nameless person" 
(the Queen) "sent me eleven messages before I would 



yield her a visit". This was surely an exaggera- 
tion, and it was written at a time when Swift, having 
lost all hope of preferment from the Queen, was 
paying his court to the duchess. Swift no doubt 
was quite as ready to have an audience as Caroline 
was to grant him one. He began the conversation 
by saying that he knew the Princess loved to see 
odd persons, and having seen a wild boy from 
Germany, he supposed she now had a curiosity 
to see a wild dean from Ireland. Caroline laughed, 
and found in his genius an excuse for the lack of 
courtly manners. He came several times to Leicester 

Swift returned to Ireland well pleased with 
his reception, though no definite promise of what 
he desired, English preferment, had been given 
him. He came again to England early the follow- 
ing year, 1727, as it proved for the last time. 
His coming was heralded by the publication of his 
famous satire, Gulliver s Travels. Caroline read the 
book with delight, and when the author presented 
himself at Leicester House welcomed him most 
graciously. She accepted from him a present ot 
Irish poplins, and promised him a medallion of her- 
self in return. Swift was also a constant and 
welcome guest in the apartments of Mrs. Howard, 
and met there, besides many men of letters, politicians 
of the stamp of Townshend and Compton. He was 
in England at the time of George the First's death, 
and kissed the hands of the new King and Queen. 
For a time he was full of hope, but his expectations 


received a shock when he found Walpole, " Bob the 
poet's foe," confirmed in power. He went back to 
Ireland, cast down but not dismayed, and waited 
there for the summons that never came. 

For some time the dean placed faith in Mrs. 
Howard, and more especially in the Queen's gracious- 
ness. He knew also the Queen's views on Church 
matters, and his unorthodoxy, which had hindered 
Anne from making him a bishop, would, he thought, 
be a point in his favour with Caroline. His command- 
ing literary abilities ought certainly to have given him 
a strong claim upon her consideration. But Swift, 
the friend of Bolingbroke, was disliked by Walpole, 
and Caroline distrusted every one who was intimate 
with Bolingbroke. Moreover Swift thought, like so 
many others, that the way to the King's favour lay 
through his mistress rather than his wife, and on 
both his visits to England he paid great court to 
Mrs. Howard, visiting her frequently, flattering her, 
telling her some of his best stories, and writing her 
some of his wittiest letters. Caroline, who knew of 
this friendship, resented it, and though she gave the 
'great dean audience, and was affable to him as she 
was to every one, she made a mental note against 
his name, and never helped him to realise his wish 
of obtaining English preferment. She had never 
promised to give it to him, but she had promised to 
send him her medallion. Swift, who for some time 
after his return to Ireland, kept up a correspondence 
with Mrs. Howard, wrote to her recalling the 
Queen's promise. 


" First, therefore," he writes, " I call you to 
witness that I did not attend on the Queen until I 
had received her repeated messages, which, of 
course, occasioned my being introduced to you. I 
never asked anything till, upon leaving England for 
the first time, I desired from you a present worth a 
guinea, and from her Majesty one worth ten pounds, 
by way of a memorial. Yours I received, and the 
Queen, upon taking my leave of her, made an 
excuse that she had intended a medal for me, which 
not being ready, she would send it me the Christmas 
following : yet this was never done, nor at all 
remembered when I went back to England the next 
year, and attended her as I had done before. I 
must now tell you, madam, that I will receive no 
medal from her Majesty, nor anything less than her 
picture at half-length, drawn by Jervas ; and if he 
takes it from another original, the Queen shall at 
least sit twice for him to touch it up. I desire you 
will let her Majesty know this in plain words, 
although I have heard I am under her dis- 
pleasure. . . . 

"Against you I have but one reproach, that 
when I was last in England, and just after the present 
King's accession, I resolved to pass that summer in 
France, for which I had then a most lucky oppor- 
tunity, from which those who seemed to love me 
well, dissuaded me by your advice. And when I 
sent you a note, conjuring you to lay aside the 
character of a courtier and a favourite upon that 
occasion, your answer positively directed me not to 


go at that juncture ; and you said the same thing 
to my friends who seemed to have power of giving 
me hints, that I might reasonably have expected a 
settlement 1 in England, which. God knows, is no 
great ambition considering the station I should leave 
here, of greater dignity, which might easily have 
been managed to be disposed of as the Crown 
pleased. . . . 

" I wish her Majesty would a little remember 
what I largely said to her about Ireland, when 
before a witness she gave me leave, and commanded 
me to tell here what she spoke to me upon that 
subject, and ordered me, if I lived to see her in 
her present station, to send her our grievances, 
promising to read my letter, and do all good offices 
in her power for this most miserable and most loyal 
kingdom, now at the brink of ruin, and never so 
near as now. 

" As to myself, I repeat again that I have asked 
nothing more than a trifle as a memorial of some 
distinction, which her Majesty graciously seemed to 
make between me and every common clergyman ; 
that trifle was forgot according to the usual method 
of princes, although I was taught to think myself 
upon a footing of obtaining some little excep- 
tion." 2 

Whether Mrs. Howard laid this letter before the 
Queen, as the dean evidently intended her to do, or 

1 A living. 

2 Dean Swift to Mrs. Howard, Dublin, 2ist November, 1730. 
Suffolk Correspondence. 


spoke to the Queen on the subject, is not known ; 
in any case Swift would have done better to have 
written directly to the Queen herself, or if that were 
impossible, to have chosen some more congenial 
channel of communication than Mrs. Howard. The 
Queen was jealous of her influence, and Mrs. 
Clayton, who disliked Swift, had been taught to 
think that ecclesiastical recommendations were 
especially within her province. For Mrs. Howard 
to have asked the Queen for the meanest curacy for 
one of her favourites would have been resented. So 
it came about that after Swift had waited a few 
years longer, heart-sick with deferred hope, he 
turned on Mrs. Howard as well as her mistress, 
though in the former case he was not only un- 
grateful but unjust, for the poor lady had not the 
power, though she had the will, to help him. But 
Swift in his Irish exile could not be expected to 
know the true inwardness of affairs at Court. "As 
for Mrs. Howard and her mistress," he wrote, " I 
have nothing to say but that they have neither 
memory nor manners, else I should have had some 
mark of the former from the latter, which I was 
promised about two years ago ; but since I made them 
a present it would be mean to remind them." He was 
extremely sensitive to slights, and he resented the 
Queen's forgetfulness about the medal almost as 
much as the fact that she omitted him from her 
list of preferments. Years after, in a poem which 
he wrote on his own death, the old grievance of the 
medals crops up again : 


From Dublin soon to London spread, 
'Tis told at Court " the Dean is dead," 
And Lady Suffolk in the spleen 
Runs laughing up to tell the Queen. 
The Queen, so gracious, mild and good, 
Cries : " Is he gone ? 'tis time he should. 
He's dead, you say then let him rot ; 
I am glad the medals were forgot. 
I promised him, I own ; but when ? 
I only was the princess then ; 
And now the consort of a King, 
You know, 'tis quite another thing." 

Swift never forgave the Queen's neglect, and for 
years, until her death, Caroline was the subject of 
his sharpest satirical attacks. But his satire failed 
to move her, any more than his presents and com- 
pliments had done. The great dean was left to drag 
out the remainder of his days in Ireland, embittered 
by disappointment and darkened by despair. Pro- 
bably Walpole interposed his veto also. It was 
felt that such a firebrand was safer in Ireland, and 
his presence in England might seriously embarrass 
the Government. No doubt there was something 
to be said from that point of view. But the way 
in which those in authority neglected this great 
genius, until baffled ambition drove him to drink 
and madness, will ever remain one of the most 
tragic pages in the history of literature. 

Gay, like Swift, also had a grievance against the 
Queen, though if Swift had any reason on his side, 
Gay certainly had none. Caroline had frequently 
showed him kindness when Princess of Wales, and 
had promised to help him when it was in her power. 
This promise she redeemed within a few weeks 


of the King's accession. She laughingly told Mrs. 
Howard that she would now take up the " Hare 
with many friends " an allusion to one of Gay's 
fables and she offered him the post of gentleman 
usher to the little Princess Louisa, a sinecure with 
a salary of ,200 a year, which would be equiva- 
lent to ^400 in the present day. There was little 
else that the Queen could offer him : the public 
service was now closed to writers, and as Gay was 
not in holy orders, he could not be provided for in 
the Church. This appointment, she thought, would 
secure him from want, and give him leisure for his 
pen. But Gay, whose head was quite turned by 
the adulation of foolish women, not only refused the 
Queen's offer, but resented it as an insult. Soon 
after he was taken up by the Duke and Duchess of 
Queensberry, who were among his kindest friends. 

The Duchess of Queensberry was one of the 
most beautiful and graceful women of her day ; she 
was a daughter of Lord Clarendon, and therefore 
cousin of the late Queen Anne. She was of a 
haughty disposition, and considered herself quite 
equal, if not superior, to the princes of the House 
of Hanover. The fact that Gay had been slighted 
(as he considered) by Queen Caroline was enough 
to make her champion his cause more warmly. Gay 
soon declared war against the court and the Govern- 
ment in his famous Beggars Opera, which teemed 
with topical allusions and covert political satire. The 
character of " Bob Booty," for instance, was under- 
stood to be Sir Robert Walpole, and was especially 


a butt for ridicule. The Beggars Opera took the 
town by storm ; it enjoyed not only an unprece- 
dented run in London, but was played in all the 
great towns of England, Ireland and Scotland. It 
became a fashionable craze ; ladies sang the favourite 
songs and carried about fans depicting incidents 
and characters in the piece ; pictures of the actress, 
Miss Fenton, who played the leading part, were 
sold by the thousand, and songs and verses were 
composed in her honour ; she became a popular 
toast and a reigning beauty, and finally married the 
Duke of Bolton, who ran away with her. But the 
Queen and Walpole resented the covert sarcasm in 
the play, and when Gay, encouraged by the success 
of The Beggars Opera, wrote a sequel called Polly, 
and had it ready for rehearsal, the Duke of Graf- 
ton, Lord Chamberlain, acting under the orders 
of the King, who was instigated by the Queen, 
refused to license the performance. It was said 
that Walpole was satirized in Polly under a thin 
disguise as a highwayman, but whatever the reason, 
the prohibition of the play only made it more 
popular. If it could not be played it could be read, 
and every one who had a grudge against Wal- 
pole, or the court, bought it when it came out in 
book form. The Duchess of Marlborough gave 
,100 for a single copy, and the Duchess of Queens- 
berry solicited subscriptions for it within the very 
precincts of St. James's, and at a drawing-room went 
round the room and asked even the officers of the 
King's household to buy copies of the play which 


the King had forbidden to be played. The King 
caught her in the act, and asked what she was doing ? 
She replied : "What must be agreeable, I am sure, 
to one so humane as your Majesty, for I am busy 
with an act of chanty, and a charity to which I do 
not despair of bringing your Majesty to contribute ". 
The King guessed what the charity was, and talked 
the incident over with the Queen, who so resented 
the duchess's action, which she rightly guessed was 
aimed more particularly at herself, that the King's 
vice-chamberlain was sent to request her not to 
appear at court again. The vice-chamberlain's 
message was verbal ; but the duchess immediately 
wrote a spirited reply : 

" The Duchess of Queensberry is surprised and 
well pleased that the King hath given her so agree- 
able a command as to stay from Court, where she 
never came for diversion, but to bestow a great 
civility on the King and Queen ; she hopes that by 
such an unprecedented order as this is, that the 
King will see as few as he wishes at his Court, 
particularly such as dare to think or speak truth. I 
dare not do otherwise, and ought not, nor could 
have imagined that it would not have been the very 
highest compliment that I could possibly pay the 
King to endeavour to support truth and innocence 
in his house, particularly when the King and Queen 
both told me that they had not read Mr. Gay's play. 
I have certainly done right, then, to stand by my 
own words rather than his Grace of Grafton's, who 
hath neither made use of truth, judgment, nor hon- 


our, through this whole affair, either for himself or 
his friends." 

The duchess told the vice-chamberlain to take 
the letter to the King at once ; the vice-chamber- 
lain read it, and thought it so disrespectful that he 
begged her to reconsider the matter. Thereupon 
she sat down and wrote a second letter which was even 
worse, so he took the first after all. The King was 
beside himself with passion when he received it, and 
uttered the most appalling threats. But the duchess 
went about unharmed, and laughed him to scorn. 
She was glad to have this opportunity of showing 
her contempt for the " German Court," as she called 
it, and her husband supported her action by resign- 
ing his office of Vice-Admiral of Scotland. Poor 
Mrs. Howard was the only sufferer, for Gay and 
the duchess were both her friends, and she therefore 
got the full brunt of the King's ill temper. Most 
people took the duchess's part, thinking that the 
court had been impolitic in noticing her action on 
behalf of Gay, who became for the moment a popu- 
lar martyr. " He has got several turned out of their 
places," wrote Arbuthnot to Swift, "the greatest 
ornament of the Court banished from it for his sake, 
and another great lady (Mrs. Howard) in danger of 
being chassde likewise, about seven or eight duchesses 
pushing forward like the ancient circumcelliones in 
the church to see who shall suffer martyrdom on 
his account first ; he is the darling of the city." l 

Gay certainly did not suffer from the Lord 

1 Dr. Arbuthnot to Swift, igth March, 1729. 


Chamberlain's action, for the subscriptions to 
Polly brought him in ,1,200, whereas by The 
Beggars Opera, with all its success, he had only 
gained ,400. Therefore, as Dr. Johnson says, 
"What he called oppression ended in profit". 

The Queen's difference with Pope arose out of 
the political exigencies of the hour. Unlike Swift 
and Gay he expected nothing from her, and had 
therefore no disappointment. As a Roman Catholic 
he was debarred from all places of honour and emol- 
ument, though in the reign of George the First 
Secretary Craggs offered him a pension of ^300 
a year, to be paid from the secret service money. 
Pope had been a familiar figure at Leicester House 
and Richmond Lodge. He was a great friend of 
Mrs. Howard, and a favourite with the maids of 
honour. Caroline, as Princess of Wales, had shown 
him many courtesies, and recognised his genius and 
admired his work. But Pope's friendship with 
Bolingbroke and hatred of Walpole necessarily led 
to a breach between him and the Queen. As Mrs. 
Howard's influence waned and Walpole's became 
greater, Pope came no more to court, and had 
nothing for the Queen but sneers and ridicule. 

His famous quarrel with Lord Hervey also did 
much to widen the breach, for the Queen naturally 
took her favourite's side. A friend of Lord Hervey 's 
in the House of Commons spoke of Pope as "a 
lampooner who scattered his ink without fear or 
decency ". This was true of both combatants, who 
showed in a most unamiable light in this sordid 


quarrel. The origin of the feud is involved in ob- 
scurity, but Lady Mary Wortley Montagu was 
undoubtedly in part responsible for it. 

Lady Mary, since her return from Constantinople 
in 1718, had occupied a unique position in society. 
She was a chartered libertine, her conversation grew 
broader with advancing years, and her wit had 
more licence. Between her and Lord Hervey there 
existed one of those curious friendships which may 
sometimes be witnessed between an effeminate man 
and a masculine woman, and there seems no doubt 
that it was of the kind which is known as " Platonic," 
for, after Lord Hervey 's death, when his eldest son 
sealed up and sent Lady Mary the letters she had 
written to his father, assuring her that he had not 
looked at them, she wrote to say that she almost 
regretted he had not, as it would have proved to 
him what most young men disbelieved, " the pos- 
sibility of a long and steady friendship subsisting 
between two persons of different sexes without the 
least mixture of love ". 

Lady Mary took a house at Twickenham not 
far from Pope's beautiful villa, and, though she was 
warned not to have anything to do with " the wicked 
wasp of Twickenham," she renewed her friendship 
with the poet, and became as intimate with him as 
before. " Leave him as soon as you can " wrote 
Addison to her, "he will certainly play you some 
devilish trick else." But Lady Mary took no heed, 
perhaps the danger of the experiment tempted her, 
and she fooled the little poet to the top of his bent. 


Pope, with all his genius, had an undue reverence 
for rank ; he was flattered by the notice which this 
clever woman extended to him, and he genuinely 
admired her wit and vivacity. Lady Mary's house 
was the rendezvous of many of the courtiers and wits 
of the day, and here Pope often met Lord Hervey. 
Lady Mary delighted in the homage the poet gave 
to her ungrudgingly ; it flattered her vanity that 
such a genius should be at her feet. She wrote to him 
effusive letters, and in one of them declared that he 
had discovered the philosopher's stone, "since by 
making the Iliad pass through your poetical grasp 
into an English form, without losing aught of its 
original beauty, you have drawn the golden current 
from Patoclus to Twickenham ". Pope also wrote 
her the most extravagant epistles. In one, referring 
to her portrait, which had been painted by Sir 
Godfrey Kneller, he says : " This picture dwells 
really at my heart, and I made a perfect passion of 
preferring your present face to your past ". Again 
he tells her, " I write as if I were drunk ; the plea- 
sure I take in thinking of your return transports 
me beyond the bounds of common decency". 

After a time Lady Mary began to grow rather 
weary of her poet, but he, on the contrary, became 
even more arduous, and was at last led into making 
her a passionate declaration of love. She received it 
by laughing in his face. Pope was keenly sensitive 
to ridicule, his deformity made him more so than 
most men ; he was of a highly strung disposition, 
and Lady Mary's outburst of hilarity was a thing 


he could neither forget nor forgive. He withdrew 
deeply mortified and offended. His vanity could not 
understand how the beautiful Lady Mary could reject 
him with such disdain if another had not stolen her 
from him. He formed the idea that Lord Hervey 
was his rival, and against him therefore directed all 
his malice, spleen and hatred. A scurrilous paper war 
began. Lord Hervey dabbled in poetry, not of great 
merit, and Pope savagely attacked it. Speaking of 
one of his own satires, against which he pretended a 
charge of weakness had been brought, he says : 

The lines are weak, another's pleased to say, 
Lord Fanny spins a thousand such a day. 

And again : 

Like gentle Fanny's was my flow'ry theme 
A painted mistress, or a purling stream. 

Hervey, who thought his namby-pamby verses really 
poetry, was stung to the quick by this contemptuous 
allusion, and, smarting under the satire, was foolish 
enough to retaliate upon Pope in a poor effusion 
addressed "To the Imitator of the Satires of the 
Second Book of Horace". It runs: 

Thus, whilst with coward hand you stab a name, 
And try at least t' assassinate our fame ; 
Like the first bold assassin's be thy lot ; 
And ne'er be thy guilt forgiven, or forgot ; 
But as thou hat'st, be hated by mankind, 
And with the emblem of thy crooked mind 
Marked on thy back, like Cain, by God's own hand, 
Wander, like him accursed, through the land. 

In the same poem Pope was told : 

None thy crabbed numbers can endure 
Hard as thy heart, and as thy birth obscure. 


This brutal allusion to Pope's physical infirmities and 
his birth stung the most sensitive of poets to the 
quick.- In this duel of wits, Hervey had chosen 
verse as his weapon, forgetting that in this line his 
adversary had no equal, and Pope seized the ad- 
vantage. Hervey had set him an unworthy example, 
which he did not hesitate to follow, and he raked up 
everything which approached physical hideousness, 
weakness, or deformity in the person and mind of 
his adversary. According to Lord Hailes, " Lord 
Hervey, having felt some attacks of epilepsy, entered 
upon and persisted in a very strict regimen, and 
thus stopped the progress and prevented the effects 
of that dreadful disease. His daily food was a small 
quantity of ass's milk and a flour biscuit. Once 
a week he indulged himself with eating an apple ; 
he used emetics daily. Lord Hervey used paint to 
soften his ghastly appearance." All these weaknesses 
were seized upon by Pope, and put into a poem 
wherein Lord Hervey was satirized as "Sporus". 

Let Sporus tremble ! what ! that thing of silk ! 
Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk ! 
Satire or sense, alas ! can Sporus feel ? 
Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel ? 
Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, 
This painted child of dirt that stinks and stings; 
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, 
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys : 
So well-bred spaniels civilly delight 
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. 
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray 
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way 
Whether in florid impotence he speaks 
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks ; 
Or, at the ear of Eve, familiar toad 
VOL. II. 12 


Half froth half venom, spits himself abroad : 

In puns or politics, in tales or lies 

Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies ; 

His wit all see-saw between that and this, 

Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, 

And he himself one vile antithesis. 

Amphibious thing ! that acting either part, 

The trifling head, or the corrupted heart ; 

Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the Board, 

Now trips a lady and now struts a lord. 

Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have expressed, 

A cherub's face and reptile all the rest ; 

Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, 

Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust. 

Coxe, alluding to the portrait of Sporus, writes : 
" I never could read this passage without disgust 
and horror, disgust at the indelicacy of the allusions, 
horror at the malignity of the poet in laying the 
foundation of his abuse on the lowest species of 
satire, personal invective, and what is still worse, 
sickness and debility ". This condemnation is true 
of Pope's verses on Hervey, but it is equally true 
of Hervey's verses on Pope and it was Hervey 
who began the personal abuse. 

Lady Mary did not escape either. Pope de- 
picted her as a wanton, scoffed at her eccentricities, 
and hinted that she conferred her favours on "a 
black man," the Sultan Ahmed of Turkey. 

Pope also addressed a prose letter to Lord 
Hervey, which was, if possible, more bitter and 
vindictive than his character of " Sporus". He 
thought very highly of his letter, which Wharton 
styles "a masterpiece of invective". To one of 
his friends Pope wrote : " There is woman's war 



declared against me by a certain lord ; his weapons 
are the same which women and children use a pin 
to scratch, and a squirt to bespatter. I writ a sort 
of answer, but was ashamed to enter the lists with 
him, and after showing it some people, suppressed 
it ; otherwise it was such as was worthy of him and 
worthy of me." The reason Pope gives for sup- 
pressing this letter, which was not published until 
after his death, though privately shown -to many, 
was not the true one. Queen Caroline got hold 
of a copy of the epistle, and it was at her express 
desire that Pope withheld it. She feared lest it 
should render her favourite contemptible in the eyes 
of the world, and though she was greatly incensed 
against Pope, she dissembled her anger, and used 
her influence to end this wordy war, in which there 
could be no doubt that Pope was the victor. 1 

But though Caroline was unfortunate in her rela- 
tions with Swift, Gay and Pope, men whose writings 
shed a lustre on her era, she was the means of 
helping other writers who were eminent in a different 
way. Butler, the author of the Analogy, and Berkeley, 
who wrote The Minute Philosopher, she preferred to 
high office in the Church. For other writers who 
were not in holy orders she did what she could. 
She befriended Steele at a time when, to use his 
own words, he was " bereft both of limbs and 

1 In his Memoirs Lord Hervey makes no mention of his quarrel 
with Pope or his duel with Pulteney, and slips over the years 1730- 
1733 without a line of comment. This seems to show that he was 
not proud of either of these achievements. 


speech 'V She had often befriended him before in 
the course of his chequered career. She reprieved 
Savage, the natural son of that unnatural mother the 
Countess of Macclesfield, when he lay under sentence 
of death. And after his wonderful poem, The 
Bastard, was written, she helped him again with 
a pension of ^50 from her privy purse. She 
patronised Somerville, author of The Chase, no 
mean poet in the opinion of Dr. Johnson ; and she 
sought to support that luckless playwright William 
Duncombe. It was one of her sayings that "genius 
was superior to the patronage of princes," but she 
had a great sympathy for literary endeavour, how- 
ever humble. But her patronage of minor writers 
was more often dictated by the kindness of her heart 
than by the soundness of her judgment. An instance 
of this was afforded by her patronage of Stephen 
Duck, whose fate has been not inaptly compared to 
that of Burns without the genius. 

Stephen Duck was the son of a peasant in Wilt- 
shire, and worked as a day labourer and thresher 
on a farm at Charlton. He must have had some 
ability and a good deal of application, for when his 
day's work was done, he taught himself the rudi- 
ments of grammar and a smattering of history and 
science. These labours bore fruit in poetry ; but 
the poems remained unpublished until Duck reached 
the age of thirty, when he had the good fortune 
to attract the notice of a country clergyman named 
Spence, who not only lent him books, but found 

1 Sir Richard Steele to Mrs. Clayton, May, 1724. 


the means for him to print some of his poems in 
pamphlet form, including The Thresher's Labour, a 
poem descriptive of his own life, and The Shunamite. 
These poems found their way into the hands of 
Lord Tankerville and Dr. Alured Clarke, Preben- 
dary of Winchester, who thought so highly of 
their merits that they got up a subscription to aid 
the author. Dr. Alured Clarke did more ; he 
wrote to his friend Mrs. Clayton telling her the 
story of Duck's life, and begging her to bring his 
poems before the notice of the Queen. By this 
time Duck had quite a little coterie of admirers in 
his own county, who, as Dr. Alured Clarke wrote, 
thought " the thresher, with all his defects, a 
superior genius to Mr. Pope". 1 

Caroline was much interested in the fact that 
these poems were written by a poor thresher, and 
when the court was at Windsor she commanded that 
Duck should be brought there. She was so pleased 
with his manner and address that she settled a small 
annual pension on him, and in 1733 made him one 
of the yeomen of the guard. Dr. Alured Clarke, 
by this time one of the royal chaplains, and Mrs. 
Clayton acted as the sponsors of the poet, whose 
work now became well-known. The most extra- 
vagant ideas were formed concerning it, some 
considering The Thresher s Labour superior to 
Thomson's Seasons, and others declaring that the 
author of The Shunamite was the greatest poet of 

1 Dr. Alured Clarke to Mrs. Clayton, Winchester, i8th August, 


the age. Thus encouraged, Duck wrote more 
poems, and the Queen's patronage secured for 
them a large sale. Naturally many were in praise 
of his generous benefactress. Duck in due time 
took holy orders, to which he had always a leaning 
he was ordained, as a literate, by the Bishop of 
Salisbury. Shortly after his ordination, the Queen 
appointed him keeper of Merlin's Cave, a fanciful 
building she had erected at Richmond. Both 
Merlin's Cave and Duck came in for a great deal 
of satire from " the epigrammatic Maecenases," as Dr. 
Alured Clarke calls them, who regarded both the cave 
and the patronage of the poet as proofs of the Queen's 
folly rather than her wisdom. Pope wrote : 

Lord ! how we strut through Merlin's Cave, to see 
No poets there, but Stephen, you and me. 

Swift, writhing under neglect, penned a very caustic 
epigram : 

The thresher Duck could o'er the Queen prevail : 
The proverb says, " No fence against a flail," 
From threshing corn he turns to thresh his brains 
For which her Majesty allows him grains, 
Though 'tis confessed that those who ever saw 
His poems, think them all not worth a straw. 
Thrice happy Duck! employed in threshing stubble 
Thy toils were lessen'd and thy profits doubled. 

Close by Merlin's Cave the Queen raised another 
quaint conceit known as the " Hermitage," in which 
she placed busts of Adam Clarke, Newton, Locke 
and other dead philosophers. These busts excited 
the ire of living worthies. Swift in his Elegant 
Extracts wrote : 


Lewis, the living genius fed 
And rais'd the scientific head : 
Our Queen, more frugal of her meat, 
Raises those heads that cannot eat. 

This drew forth the following repartee, addressed 
to Swift : 

Since Anna, whom bounty thy merits had fed, 
Ere her own was laid low, had exalted your head, 
And since our good Queen to the wise is so just, 
To raise heads from such as are humbled in dust, 
I wonder, good man, that you are not envaulted ; 
Pr'y thee, go and be dead, and be doubly exalted. 

Whereto the dean wittily replied : 

Her Majesty never shall be my exalter ; 

And yet she would raise me I know, by a halter. 

Stephen Duck's poetry was popular in its 
day, but it owed its popularity to the favour of 
the Queen rather than to its intrinsic merit. His 
talent was not sufficient to overcome the defects of 
his early education. Duck realised this far more 
than his friends, and he was keenly sensitive to the 
satire which great writers like Swift and Pope 
thought it worth their while to pour upon him. The 
Queen remained his constant friend, and preferred 
him successively to a chaplaincy at Kew and the 
rectory of Byfleet in Surrey. But Duck was not 
a happy man ; his education began too late in life, 
and he could never accommodate himself to his 
altered circumstances. He ended his career by 
committing suicide, a few years after the death of 
his royal patroness. 

1 84 



IN May, 1732, the King made his second visit to 
Hanover, and was absent from England four months. 
He invested the Queen with full powers of Queen- 
Regent as before. George the Second's visit to 
Hanover was again exceedingly unpopular with the 
nation, but he was determined to go, and it was 
useless to thwart him. This, Caroline's second 
regency, was uneventful, though in it she managed 
to do something to advance the cause of prison 
reform. Knowing the injustices and anomalies of 
the criminal law, the Queen's influence was all on 
the side of mercy. She showed a particular distaste 
to signing death warrants in her capacity as Regent, 
and whenever she could possibly do so she pardoned 
the criminals. For instance, we read : " On Tues- 
day the report of the four criminals who received 
sentence of death at the late Sessions at the Old 
Bailey was made to her Majesty in Council by Mr. 
Sergeant Raby, and her Majesty was graciously 
pleased to show mercy and pardon them ". In the 
reform of the prison system the Queen took a direct 


interest. She was always anxious, when it was in 
her power, to release prisoners, and to make penal- 
ties easier for debtors and other offenders, 1 and she 
was determined that something should be done 
to remedy the deplorable condition of the public 
prisons.' 2 She had taken up this question the year 
after the King's accession to the throne, and during 
her regency an inquiry was instituted, which laid 
bare a frightful system of abuses ; gaolers and 
warders connived at the escape of rich prisoners, 
and subjected poor ones, who could not pay their 
extortionate demands, to every sort of cruelty, insult 
and oppression. 

The reports of the Select Committees of the 
House of Commons teem with such cases. One 
report stated that "The Committee saw in the 
women's sick ward many miserable objects lying, 
without beds, on the floor, perishing with extreme 
want ; and in the men's sick ward yet much worse. 
. . . On the giving of food to these poor wretches 

1 Last Friday her Majesty was most graciously pleased to ex- 
tend her mercy to William Bales, under order for transportation for 
fourteen years, who sometime since was condemned on the Black 
Act. Daily Gazetteer, 26th July, 1736. 

Her Majesty has been pleased to pardon the three following con- 
demned to transportation for fourteen years viz., Thomas Ricketts, 
for stealing a silver hilted sword, and Thomas Morris and John 
Pritchard, for housebreaking. Daily Gazetteer, yth August, 1736. 

The day before the Court removed from Windsor to Richmond 
her Majesty gave 80 for discharging poor debtors confined in the 
town jail. Daily Post, igth October, 1730. 

2 Petitions have lately been presented to her Majesty from in- 
solvent debtors confined in the prisons of this city, the numbers of 
whom are so great that several have died lately of the prison dis- 
temper, and others through want. Craftsman, i8th May, 1728. 


(though it was done with the utmost caution, 
they being only allowed at first the smallest quanti- 
ties, and that of liquid nourishment) one died ; 
the vessels of his stomach were so disordered and 
contracted, for want of use, that they were totally 
incapable of performing their office, and the un- 
happy creature perished about the time of digestion. 
Upon his body a coroner's inquest sat (a thing 
which, though required by law to be always done, 
hath for many years been scandalously omitted in 
this gaol), and the jury found that he died of want. 
Those who were not so far gone, on proper nourish- 
ment being given them, recovered, so that not above 
nine have died since the 25th March last, the day 
the Committee first met there, though, before, a 
day seldom passed without a death ; and upon the 
advancing of the spring not less than eight or ten 
usually died every twenty-four hours." l The prison 
referred to was a London prison, but in the pro- 
vinces matters were no better. There was, for ex- 
ample, a petition to the House of Commons, 1725, 
from insolvent debtors in Liverpool gaol, stating 
that they were " reduced to a starving condition, 
having only straw and water at the courtesy of the 
sergeant ". 2 The Queen was horrified and indignant 
at these revelations, and she repeatedly urged on 
Walpole the reformation of the prison system, and 
the revision of the criminal code. But Walpole was 

1 Second Report of the Select Committee, presented I4th M ay 

2 Commons' Journals, vol. xx. 


averse to any legislation unless it was demanded 
by political exigencies, and the utmost the Queen 
achieved was a more vigorous inspection of prisons 
and the punishment of gaolers detected in cruelty. 

In September the King returned from Hanover 
and took over the reins of government, an easy task, 
for Walpole and the Queen had managed so well 
that this was a period of peace abroad and prosperity 
at home. 

Walpole was now at the zenith of his power ; 
in the country everything was quiet, in the Cabinet 
all his colleagues were submissive. He enjoyed the 
fullest confidence of the King and Queen, and he 
had apparently complete ascendency in both Houses 
of Parliament. The Opposition, though able and 
active, both in Parliament and out of it, were unable 
to lessen the Ministerial majority. " What can you 
have done, sir, to God Almighty to make him 
so much your friend ? " exclaimed an old Scottish 
Secretary of State at this time to Walpole. The 
Prime Minister's ascendency might have continued 
serenely had he not the following year (1733) been 
so unwise as to depart from his policy of letting 
sleeping dogs lie. He brought forward his celebrated 
excise scheme. To explain it briefly, Walpole pro- 
posed to bring the tobacco and wine duties under the 
law of excise, and so ease the land tax. This land 
tax, ever since the Revolution of 1688, had borne 
the great burden of taxation, and during the wars of 
Marlborough had risen to as much as four shillings 
in the pound. In consequence of the peace and 


prosperity enjoyed by the nation the last few years 
it has been reduced to two shillings in the pound, 
and Walpole's proposed changes would have the 
effect of further reducing it or abolishing it altogether. 
Walpole hoped by this means to conciliate the land- 
owners and country gentlemen, who considered that 
they had to bear an unfair share of the burdens of 
the State. Customs had always been levied on 
wine and tobacco, and the change proposed had 
regard chiefly to the method of collection. An 
active system of smuggling was carried on, and 
connived in and winked at by many people, so 
that the duties on wine and tobacco fell very far 
short of the estimates. Under Walpole's scheme this 
system of wholesale smuggling would be to a great 
extent stopped, and he estimated that the excise 
duties would rise by one-sixth, which would be 
more than sufficient to meet the deficit caused by 
easing the land tax. He had the hearty support 
of the court, for the King's Civil List depended to 
some extent on the duties on tobacco and wine, 
and if they were increased, the royal income would 
increase also. 

Walpole at first was confident that he would 
be able to carry this scheme through without 
much opposition, but as soon as its purport be- 
came known, even before it was introduced into 
Parliament, it was evident that the Prime Minister 
had seriously miscalculated public opinion. Both 
in and out of Parliament the opposition to any 
extension of the excise was tremendous ; the 


whole nation rose against it. The people per- 
sisted in regarding the proposed extension as the 
first step in a scheme of general excise, in which 
every necessary of life would be taxed, and the 
liberties of the subject interfered with by excise 
officers coming into private houses whenever they 
pleased. It was in vain for Wai pole to vow that 
"no such scheme had ever entered his head"; it 
was in vain to reason or expostulate. Popular 
indignation burned to a white heat, and there were 
plenty of able men ready to fan the flame. The 
Craftsman declared that the Prime Minister's 
scheme would ruin trade, destroy the liberties of 
the people, abrogate Magna Charta, and make the 
Crown absolute. The Jacobites and the Tories, 
though largely drawn from the landed classes who 
were to be benefited by this scheme, rejected with 
contumely the proffered " bribe " as they called it. 
Not only every Jacobite and every Tory, but all the 
discontented Whigs, all the politicians who had 
wished for office and had not obtained it, all the 
peers and members of Parliament whom Walpole at 
different times had insulted and aggrieved, precipi- 
tated themselves on this opportunity of attacking him. 
The Prime Minister was also betrayed in the 
house of his friends ; there were several great 
peers holding minor offices under the Crown who 
were secretly hostile to Walpole, though they had 
hitherto masked their animosity. They now seized 
this opportunity to undermine him. Among them 
were the Dukes of Argyll, Montrose, and Bolton, 


the Earls of Stair and Marchmont, and Lords 
Chesterfield and Clinton. These malcontents held 
a secret meeting, and determined to send Lord 
Stair to the Queen, to set forth to her the unpopu- 
larity of the excise scheme, and the danger which 
the Crown ran in supporting it. Lord Stair had 
fought in Marlborough's campaign, and for many 
years had served his country with great credit as 
ambassador to France. Walpole had treated him 
shabbily in recalling him from Paris when he came 
into collision with Law, the financier, and for a long 
time there had been a great deal of ill-feeling. 
When the Duke of Queensberry resigned, Walpole 
sought to make amends by giving the ex-ambassador 
the post of Vice- Admiral of Scotland ; this post Lord 
Stair still held, but he had not forgotten his resent- 
ment against Walpole. 

The Queen gave Lord Stair an audience one 
evening in her cabinet in Kensington Palace. He 
burst forth into violent invective against the Prime 
Minister, saying : " But, madam, though your 
Majesty knows nothing of this man but what he 
tells you himself, or what his creatures and flatterers, 
prompted by himself, tell you of him, yet give me 
leave to assure your Majesty that in no age, in no 
reign, in no country, was ever any Minister so 
universally odious as the man you support. . . . 
That he absolutely governs your Majesty nobody 
doubts, and very few scruple to say ; they own you 
have the appearance of power, and say you are 
contented with the appearance, whilst all the reality 


of power is his, derived from the King, conveyed 
through you, and vested in him." 

He then referred to a personal grievance he had 
against Walpole, in that Lord Isla, brother of the 
Duke of Argyll, had been preferred before him, and 
given important appointments which he (Lord Stair) 
ought to have filled. He quoted this as a proof of 
Walpole's power over the Queen, and said : " For 
what cannot that man persuade you to, who can 
make you, madam, love a Campbell ? The only 
two men in this country who ever vainly hoped or 
dared to attempt to set a mistress's" (Mrs. Howard's) 
" power up in opposition to yours were Lord Isla and 
his brother, the Duke of Argyll ; yet one of the 
men who strove to dislodge you by this method 
from the King's bosom is the man your favourite 
has thought fit to place the nearest to his." This, 
however, was a little too much for the Queen, who 
was extremely sensitive of any mention of the 
peculiar relations which existed between Mrs. 
Howard and the King. She sharply rebuked Lord 
Stair, and desired him to remember that "he was 
speaking of the King's servant, and to the King's 
wife ". Lord Stair therefore said no more on that 
point, but proceeded forthwith to the excise scheme, 
declaring that it would be impossible to force the 
measure through the Lords, though corruption 
might carry it through the Commons. He added 
that even if it were possible to carry it into law, 
"yet, madam, I think it so wicked, so dishonest, 
so slavish a scheme, that my conscience would no 


more permit me to vote for it than his " ( Walpole's) 
" ought to have permitted him to project it ". The 
Queen again interrupted him by crying out : " Oh, 
my lord, don't talk to me of your conscience ; you 
make me faint ! " This so nettled Lord Stair that 
he spoke plainer than ever. 

When he had quite talked himself out, it was 
the Queen's turn to let Lord Stair know her mind, 
which she did with a vigour and directness that left 
nothing to be desired. 

"You have made so very free with me person- 
ally in this conference, my lord," she said, "that I 
hope you will think I am entitled to speak my mind 
with very little reserve to you ; and believe me, 
my lord, I am no more to be imposed upon by 
your professions than I am to be terrified by your 
threats." She then reminded Lord Stair of the 
part he had played in supporting the Peerage Bill 
in the last reign, which, she held, was against the 
interests of the Prince of Wales and the liberties 
of the people, and went on to say : " To talk there- 
fore in the patriot strain you have done to me on 
this occasion can move me, my lord, to nothing but 
laughter. Where you get your lesson I do not want 
to know. Your system of politics you collect from 
the Craftsman, your sentiments, or rather your pro- 
fessions, from my Lord Bolingbroke and my Lord 
Carteret whom you may tell, if you think fit, that 
I have long known them to be two as worthless men of 
parts as any in this country, and whom I have not 
only been often told are two of the greatest liars and 


knaves in any country, but whom my own observation 
and experience have found so." 1 

All this the Queen said, and much more to the 
same effect, which convinced Lord Stair that she 
would do nothing against Walpole, so he took his 
leave saying : " Madam, you are deceived, and the 
King is betrayed ". He went back to the malcon- 
tent peers to tell them of the interview, from which 
he was fain to confess he had no results to show ; 
but he boasted that he had at least told the Queen 
some home truths which she would not be likely to 

Finding that Walpole was determined, despite 
remonstrance, to introduce his excise scheme, and 
was supported by the King and Queen, the Opposi- 
tion organised a popular agitation against it. The 
whole country was flooded with pamphlets, and 
meetings were everywhere held. Disaffection to 
the Government ran like wildfire throughout the 
land, and from all parts of the kingdom the cry 
was : " No slavery, no excise, no wooden shoes" 
this last was aimed at the German tendencies of the 
court. Public agitation rose to a greater height 
than it had done since the Jacobite rising of 1715. 
The city of London and nearly every borough in 
England held meetings to protest against the scheme, 
and passed resolutions commanding their represen- 
tatives to oppose any extension of the excise in 
any form whatever. The agitation went on for 
months, increasing in volume and in violence, though 

1 Hervey's Memoirs. 
VOL. II. 13 


the scheme was yet in embryo, and the measure had 
not been laid before Parliament. The more timid 
among Walpole's supporters took alarm and urged 
him to abandon the contemplated measure. But 
the Prime Minister, who during these years of almost 
absolute power had become a dictator, refused to 
listen. He paid little heed to the press, and declared 
that the whole agitation was a got-up job. If he 
yielded to clamour in this matter he would have to 
do so in others and would be left, he said, with only 
the shadow of power. 

Walpole introduced his Excise Bill into Parlia- 
ment on March i4th, 1733, in a speech conspicuous 
for its moderation. He stoutly denied the report that 
he intended to propose a general excise. He sketched 
the details of his measure as one which affected solely 
the duties on tobacco and wine and sought to put 
down smuggling. " And this," he wound up, " is the 
scheme which has been represented in so dreadful 
and terrible a light this the monster which was 
to devour the people and commit such ravages over 
the whole nation." The Prime Minister's eloquence 
was of no avail ; his denials were not believed, his 
moderation was regarded as a sign of weakness. 
The Opposition rose in their wrath and denounced 
the measure root and branch. Pulteney mocked, 
Barnard thundered, Wyndham stigmatised excises 
of every kind as " badges of slavery ". And the 
cheers which greeted these denunciations within the 
House were caught up by the multitude outside. 
The doors of Westminster were besieged by frenzied 

From the Pointing in the Xiitioiuil I'ortrait Gallery. 


crowds hostile to the excise who cheered every 
member of Parliament opposed to the Bill, and 
hooted and yelled at every one who favoured it. To 
these Walpole incautiously alluded in his reply, 
"Gentlemen may give them what name they think 
fit ; it may be said they come hither as humble 
supplicants, but I know whom the law calls sturdy 
beggars". The Opposition seized on this unlucky 
phrase as showing the arrogant Minister's indiffer- 
ence to the poverty of the people, and his desire to 
deny their right of petition. Through the rest of 
his political career Walpole never heard the last of 
the "sturdy beggars". The expression so exasper- 
ated the mob that the same night, when, after 
thirteen hours' debate, Walpole was leaving the 
House, some of the "sturdy beggars" made a rush 
at him and would have torn him to pieces had not 
his friends interposed and carried him off in safety. 
The King and Queen were intensely interested in 
the progress of the measure. Indeed it was said that 
if their being sent back to Hanover had depended 
on the fate of this Bill they could not have been 
more excited. Walpole's friends fell off one by one, 
and new enemies declared themselves every day. 
Yet still the King and Queen stood by their favourite 
Minister undismayed. Violent personal attacks were 
made upon Walpole during the debate, to which the 
Prime Minister vigorously retorted. The King 
delighted to hear of these retorts, and would rap 
out vehement oaths and cry with flushed cheeks 
and tears in his eyes : " He is a brave fellow ; he 


has more spirit than any man I ever knew". The 
Queen would join in these acclamations. 

Thus matters went on for nearly a month, things 
going from bad to worse, majorities in Parliament 
getting smaller and smaller, supporters falling off 
one by one, and the popular ferment growing 
higher and higher. Petitions against the Bill poured 
in from all the large towns, that of the Common 
Council of London being the most violent of all. 
And the paper war raged unceasingly. " The 
public," says Tindal, " was so heated with papers 
and pamphlets that matters rose next to a re- 
bellion." l But despite dwindling majorities and 
popular clamour, Walpole remained stubborn. At 
last, when the storm was at its worst, it was the 
Queen who saw the hopelessness of contending 
against it. In despair she asked Lord Scarborough, 
who had always been a personal friend of the King 
and herself, and who now threatened to resign his 
office, what was to be done. He replied : " The Bill 
must be dropped, or there will be mutiny in the 
army. I will answer for my regiment," he added, 
" against the Pretender, but not against the ex- 
cise." Tears came into the Queen's eyes. "Then," 
said she, " we must drop it." 2 

The resolution was arrived at none too soon. 
On April Qth, after a furious debate in the House, 
Walpole went to St. James's and had a conference 
with the King and Queen. It was then agreed to 
drop the Bill, though it was resolved not to make 

1 TindaVs History. 2 Maby's Life of Chesterfield. 


the intention known for a day or two longer. Wai- 
pole then had a private interview with the Queen, 
and offered to resign. It was necessary, he said, 
that some one should be sacrificed to appease the 
fury of the populace, and it was better that he should 
be the one. The Queen knew well what he meant, 
for she had so identified herself with Walpole's 
policy that half the attacks of the Opposition on the 
Prime Minister were really veiled attacks upon her. 
But she refused to listen to such a suggestion and 
upbraided Walpole for having thought her "so mean, 
so cowardly, so ungrateful," as to accept of such an 
offer, and she assured him that as long as she lived she 
would not abandon him. Walpole then made a simi- 
lar proposition to the King, but George the Second 
replied in much the same words as the Queen 
had done. Both the King and Queen were greatly 
distressed at the turn events had taken. The Queen 
wept bitterly, but put a bright face on the matter in 
public, and held her evening drawing-room as usual. 
She was, however, so anxious, that she was forced 
to pretend a headache and the vapours, and break 
up the circle earlier than usual. 

The next day, April loth, was the crucial day. 
The City of London, headed by the Lord Mayor 
in full state, petitioned Parliament against the Bill, 
and the citizens attended in such numbers that 
the string of coaches ran from Westminster all the 
way to Temple Bar. When the division was taken 
that night, it was found that the Government had a 
majority of only sixteen votes, which was a virtual 


defeat. The Opposition were wildly excited over 
their victory, which they confidently hoped would 
involve Wai pole's fall and disgrace. Lord Hervey, 
who had been sent down to the House to report pro- 
gress, hastened back to the King and Queen to tell 
them the bad news. The tears ran down the Queen's 
cheeks, and for some time she could not speak. 
The King cross-questioned Hervey as to who were 
the members who had seceded from the Govern- 
ment ranks and helped to swell the Opposition 
figures, and as he heard the names, he commented 
on them one by one in expressions such as : "A 
fool!" "An Irish blockhead!" "A booby!" "A 
whimsical fellow ! " and so forth. But though the 
King might swear and the Queen might weep, it 
was clear that the game was up, and the sooner they 
acted upon their intention of abandoning the Bill 
the better. 

Walpole, too, fully realised this at last, and 
the howls of public execration that pursued him 
might well have daunted even his stout heart. If 
there is any truth in Frederick the Great's story, it 
was on this eventful night that Walpole escaped 
from the infuriated crowd around Westminster 
disguised under an old red cloak, and shouting 
" Liberty, liberty ; no excise ! " and made his way 
to St. James's to acquaint the King and Queen of 
the result of the division. He found the King armed 
at all points ; he had donned the hat he wore at 
Malplaquet and was trying the temper of the sword 
he had fought with at Oudenarde. He was ready to 


put himself at the head of his guards and march 
out upon his rebellious and mutinous subjects. But 
Walpole besought him to be calm and vowed it was 
a "choice between abandoning the Excise Bill or 
losing the crown ". But this story is probably 
apocryphal. What is certain is that Walpole, the 
evening of the division, had a small gathering of his 
staunchest supporters at his house in Arlington 
Street. After supper he got up and said : " Gentle- 
men, this dance it will no further go"; and announced 
his intention of sounding a retreat on the morrow, no 
doubt to their relief. 

On the morrow, April nth, the House of 
Commons was crowded from end to end, and the 
people thronged not only the approaches to West- 
minster, but forced their way into the lobby. Wal- 
pole got up in the House and announced his 
intention of postponing the measure for two months. 
This, though a virtual confession of defeat, was not 
enough for the Opposition, who made a great uproar, 
and the chamber resounded with hissings, howlings 
and shouts, which were taken up by the mob outside, 
and the threatening murmurs of the multitude could 
be distinctly heard within the House itself, rising 
and falling like the surge of the sea. So violent 
and threatening was the mob that at the close of 
the debate it was suggested to Walpole that he 
should make good his escape from the House by 
the back way. But the Prime Minister said he would 
not shrink from danger, and, surrounded by a body 
of chosen supporters, he made his way through a 


lane of constables. In the lobby there was great 
jostling and hustling, and many blows were struck. 
Several of Walpole's supporters were struck and 
wounded, but the Minister himself managed to get 
through unhurt, found his coach and got safely 

The scenes in the streets of London that night 
were unparalleled ; the whole city seemed to be on 
foot ; the guards were called out and put under 
arms ; magistrates were ready to read the Riot 
Act ; and bodies of constables were drafted in all 
directions. Had the Bill not been dropped it is 
certain that a fearful riot would have broken out, 
and London might have presented scenes almost 
parallel to those witnessed in Paris nearly a century 
later. But since the excise was abandoned the 
excitement of the populace found vent in jubilations. 
The Monument was illuminated, bonfires were 
lighted in the streets (and within a day or two, as 
the news travelled, in every town in England), nearly 
all the houses were lighted up, and at Charing Cross 
Walpole and a fat woman, representing the Queen, 
were burnt in effigy, amid the howls and shrieks of 
the multitude. 

Walpole was not a man to do things by halves, 
and having found that public opinion was dead 
against him on the excise, he determined to drop 
the scheme altogether. When, in the next session, 
Pulteney endeavoured to fan the flame of opposition 
by insinuating that it would be revived, in some 
form, Walpole out-manoeuvred him by frankly con- 


fessing his failure. " As to the wicked scheme," he 
said, " as the honourable gentleman was pleased to 
call it, which he would persuade us is not yet laid 
aside, I for my own part can assure this House I am 
not so mad as ever again to engage in anything that 
looks like an excise, though in my own private 
opinion I still think it was a scheme that would 
have tended very much to the interests of the 
nation." l This frank confession of defeat prevented 
the Opposition from harping any longer on the 
iniquity of the excise. But it reasonably gave 
them hope that a Minister who, by his own con- 
fession, had brought forward a scheme which had 
been rejected with contumely by the nation should 
constitutionally be compelled to resign. Popular 
execration had been directed not only against the 
scheme but against its author, and it was a Pyrrhic 
victory indeed which routed the host but left the 
commander in possession of the field. But Queen 
Caroline was as good as her word ; she deter- 
mined never to part with Walpole as long as she 
lived, and the King echoed her sentiments. In 
vain did the Opposition invoke the sacred ark of 
the Constitution ; they only broke themselves against 
the rock of the Queen's influence. 

The group of peers who held office under the 
Crown and yet had arrayed themselves against Wal- 
pole, in the confident hope that he would be forced to 
resign, now found themselves in a peculiarly difficult 
position. The King and Queen were indignant with 

1 Parliamentary History, vol. ix., p. 254. 


them, nor did Walpole treat them with magnanimity. 
He forgave the repugnance of the nation to his 
scheme ; he could not forgive the repugnance of his 
colleagues. Always domineering and impatient of op- 
position, he now gave his vengeance full swing. Lord 
Chesterfield, who held the office of Lord Steward 
of the Household, was the first to feel his resent- 
ment. Chesterfield was going up the great staircase 
of St. James's Palace two days after the Excise Bill 
was dropped, when an attendant stopped him from 
entering the presence chamber, and handed him a 
summons requesting him to surrender his white staff. 
In this might be seen also the hand of the Queen. 
The same day Lord Clinton, lord of the bedchamber, 
Lord Burlington, who held another office, the Duke 
of Montrose and Lord Marchmont, who held sine- 
cures in Scotland, and Lord Stair were dismissed. 
Other peers were also deprived of their commissions, 
including the Duke of Bolton and Lord Cobham. 
Thus did Walpole triumph over his enemies. 




THERE was another and more dangerous enemy 
whom Walpole could not touch, and of whose dislike 
he was at this time not fully aware the Prince of 
Wales. Throughout the excise agitation the Prince 
had silently and stealthily worked against his parents 
and the Prime Minister. He had now become 
more familiar with the position of affairs in England, 
and had learnt the importance of his position in 
the state. 

The Prince was a constant source of trouble to 
the King, nor was the blame wholly on Frederick's 
side. The Queen urged the advisability of giving 
the Prince a separate establishment, and went to 
look at a house for him in George Street, Hanover 
Square, but the King stubbornly refused to give 
the necessary money, and so Frederick had perforce 
to live with his parents in apartments in one of the 
palaces, and to be a daily recipient of his father's 
slights. Such a position would have been trying 
for the most virtuous and dutiful of sons, and the 
Prince was neither virtuous nor dutiful. Moreover, 
though Parliament granted the King ,100,000 for 
the Prince of Wales, yet Frederick received only 


a small allowance from his father, and even that was 
uncertain. Under these circumstances he quickly 
accumulated debts, which the King refused to pay. 
The Queen interceded for him, but in vain, and she 
received no gratitude from her son, who resented, as 
far as he dared, her being appointed Regent in the 
King's absence instead of himself. As he was en- 
tirely dependent on his father for money, he did not 
venture to make a public protest, but he cherished a 
grudge against his mother for superseding him. 

With all these grievances, Frederick soon 
followed his father's example of caballing against 
his sire, and he found plenty of sympathy from those 
who were in opposition to the court and the Govern- 
ment. He had not been long in England before 
an opportunity was afforded him of playing to the 
popular gallery by an unpopular demand of the 
Crown to Parliament to make good a pretended de- 
ficiency in the Civil List of i 15,000 ; it was really a 
veiled form of making the King a further grant. The 
measure was violently opposed by the Opposition, 
but Walpole succeeded in carrying it through the 
House of Commons. A great deal of ill-feeling 
against the court was produced in the country by 
this extortionate demand, and the Craftsman did 
its best to fan the flame of discontent. The Prince 
of Wales, who was exceedingly sore at his father's 
meanness towards him, pretended to disapprove 
of the King's conduct in making this demand, 
and was inconsiderate enough to say so to certain 
personages, and his words, repeated from mouth 


to mouth, did not lose in the journey. Pulteney and 
Bolingbroke, and other prominent members of the 
Opposition, quoted with approval what the Prince 
had said, and condoled with him on the way in 
which he was treated by his father. The rumour 
of this reaching the King's ears incensed him the 
more against his son, but he could not act merely 
on hearsay. He had no tangible ground of com- 
plaint against him, for the Prince was cautious. 

Another cause which drew the Prince towards 
the Opposition was his liking for literature and talent. 
He seems to have had a genuine taste for les belles 
lettres, he wrote poetry in French and English, 
some of it not absolutely indifferent. 1 The cleverest 
writers sided with the Opposition and the polished 
periods of Bolingbroke, the eloquence of Wyndham, 
and the wit of Chesterfield and Pulteney, all 
appealed to him. Bolingbroke, especially, gained 
influence with the Prince, and in time became his 
political mentor. Apart from the political aspect 
of the union, there seems to have been a sincere 
friendship between the two. Soon after Frederick 
came to England, Bolingbroke made overtures to 
him, to which the Prince responded graciously, and 
the first interview between them, a secret one, 
took place by appointment at the house of a mutual 

1 One stanza of his poem addressed to Sylvia (the Princess of 
Wales) ends thus : 

" Peu d'amis, reste d'un naufrage, 
Je rassemble autour de moi, 
Et me ris d' 1'etalage 
Qu'a chez lui toujours un Roi ! " 


friend. Bolingbroke who was the first to arrive, was 
shown into the library, and was passing the time 
by turning over the leaves of a bulky tome. The 
Prince entered the room unannounced. The book 
fell to the floor, and in his haste to bend the knee, 
Bolingbroke's foot slipped, and had not the Prince 
stepped forward to support him he would have fallen 
to the ground. " My lord," said Frederick, with 
exquisite tact, as he raised him, " I trust this may 
be an omen of my succeeding in raising your for- 

The Prince had charming manners, which he 
inherited from his mother, and he had other gifts 
which won for him popularity, notably his generosity, 
which verged on extravagance. He had that easy 
and affable address which sits so well on a royal 
personage, and he was popular with the people. It 
pleased them to see the heir apparent walking about 
the streets unguarded, and followed only by a servant. 
And Frederick had always a bow and a smile for the 
meanest of his father's subjects who recognised him. 

The Prince's chief favourite and counsellor was 
George Budd Doddington, a curious man, whose 
geniality and vanity were in marked contrast to his 
political intrigues. He was the nephew of Dodding- 
ton, one of the wealthiest land owners in England, 
whose sister had made a mesalliance with one Bubb, 
an apothecary of Carlisle. On the death of Bubb, 
his widow was forgiven, and her son George suc- 
ceeded to his uncle's vast estates, and assumed the 
name of Doddington by royal licence. As he owned 


two boroughs, he entered the House of Commons 
and attached himself to Walpole, but on being re- 
fused a peerage by that statesman he turned against 
him. He made the acquaintance of the Prince of 
Wales soon after his arrival in England, and threw 
in his lot with him. Doddington was a useful 
friend to the Prince in many ways, for, in addition 
to his social qualities and knowledge of men, his 
wealth was of use. Doddington not only placed 
his purse at the Prince's service, but suffered him- 
self to become the butt of Frederick's not very 
refined jests and practical jokes. " He submitted," 
says Horace Walpole, "to the Prince's childish 
horseplay, being once rolled up in a blanket and 
trundled downstairs. Nor was he negligent of paying 
more solid court by lending his Royal Highness 
money." Frederick once observed to some of his 
boon companions : " This is a strange country, this 
England. I am told Doddington is reckoned a 
clever man, yet I got ,5,000 out of him this morning; 
he has no chance of ever seeing it again." But 
Doddington was keenly alive to the social distinction 
which the Prince's friendship conferred upon him, 
and no doubt received what he considered an equi- 
valent for the money. 

In the Prince's next move for popularity Dod- 
dington played a passive part. He was generally 
understood to represent the Prince in the House 
of Commons, and when therefore he declined to 
speak in the House in favour of the excise, it was 
regarded as a proof of the Prince's lukewarmness ; 


and when another favourite, Townshend, who was 
the groom of the bedchamber to the Prince, actually 
voted against the scheme, it was understood that 
the Prince was hostile to it. Wyndham emphasised 
this in one of his attacks on Walpole. He de- 
nounced corruption and tyranny, and recalled certain 
unworthy king's favourites of former times : "What 
was their fate?" he asked. " They had the misfortune 
to outlive their master, and his son, as soon as he 
came to the throne, took off their heads." The 
Prince of Wales was sitting under the gallery 
listening to the debate, and the allusion was cheered 
to the echo by the Opposition. The Prince's atti- 
tude was further shown by his exceeding gracious- 
ness to Lord Stair, who had told the Queen his 
mind, and to Lord Chesterfield, who had offended 
her past forgiveness. 

The King was exceedingly angry, and threatened 
to turn Townshend out of the little appointment 
he held under the Prince, but Walpole counselled 
letting him alone. Walpole would have punished 
Doddington had he dared, for he regarded him 
as the chief instigator of the Prince's rebellious 
conduct. This was most unfair, for Doddington's 
advice was always on the side of caution, and his 
influence had more than once prevented the Prince 
from rising in open revolt against his parents. 
Walpole forgot for the moment that behind the 
Prince was one much greater than Doddington 
whose enmity never slept, and that one was 
Bolingbroke. Though debarred from his seat in the 


House of Lords, and unable to raise his voice or 
vote, Bolingbroke yet, by his genius for intrigue, the 
vigour of his political writings and his consummate 
power of organisation, had done more than any man 
to stir up public feeling against the excise, and to 
bring Walpole within measurable distance of his 
fall. Most of the Opposition were puppets moved 
by this master mind, Wyndham was his mouth- 
piece, even Pulteney at this time was wholly under 
his spell. And under the ordinary working of the 
Constitution, Bolingbroke would have led his hosts to 
victory had not the King and Queen, unconstitu- 
tionally, it must be admitted, retained their Prime 

Meanwhile, though the Prince was proving him- 
self a thorn in the side of his father and the Govern- 
ment, and though the Opposition championed his 
cause with fervour, he could not get his allowance 
increased, and he sank deeper and deeper into debt. 
It came to the ears of old Sarah, Duchess of 
Marlborough, that the Prince was in pecuniary dis- 
tress, and she bethought herself of a scheme which 
would at once gratify her ambition and wound the 
feelings of the King and Queen. She asked the 
Prince to honour her with a visit to Marlborough 
House, and, when he came, she offered him the 
hand of her favourite granddaughter, Lady Diana 
Spencer, in marriage, and promised to give him 
; 1 00,000 as her portion. Lady Diana was a 
young lady of much wit and beauty, and the Prince, 

partly because he wanted the money, and partly 
VOL. ii. 14 


because he knew the alliance would anger his 
father and mother beyond measure, accepted the 
offer. All arrangements were made. The day of 
the marriage was actually fixed, and the Prince was 
to be secretly wedded to Lady Diana by Duchess 
Sarah's chaplain in the duchess's private lodge in 
Windsor Great Park. The Royal Marriage Act, 
which made illegal the marriage of a member of the 
royal family without the consent of the reigning 
monarch, was not then in existence, and the 
marriage, if it had been contracted, would have 
been valid, and impossible to annul, except perhaps 
by a special Act, which would have had no chance 
of passing through Parliament. There would have 
been nothing objectionable about the marriage 
except its secrecy, for Lady Diana Spencer (who 
afterwards became Duchess of Bedford) was by 
birth and fortune, as by wit and beauty, far superior 
to the petty German princess whom the Prince 
afterwards married. But Walpole got to hear of 
the plot in time, and was able to prevent the 
.marriage. It is a pity that it did not take place, 
for the subsequent interview of the parents with 
old Duchess Sarah on the one side and Queen 
Caroline on the other would have been one of the 
most interesting in history. 

An early and congenial marriage might have 
been the saving of the Prince of Wales. Like his 
father and grandfather he affected a reputation for 
gallantry, and he was always involved in affairs 
of a more or less disreputable nature. In pursuit 


of adventures of this kind he behaved more like a 
schoolboy than a prince arrived at years of dis- 
cretion. Peter Wentworth gives an account of one 
of his absurd escapades. He writes : 

" Thursday morning, as the King and Queen 
were going to their chaise through the garden, I 
told them the Prince had got his watch again. Our 
farrier's man had found it at the end of the Mall with 
the two seals to't. T,he Queen laughed and said : 
' I told you before 'twas you who stole it, and now 
'tis very plain that you got it from the woman who 
took it from the Prince, and you gave it to the 
farrier's man to say he had found it, to get the 
reward '. (This was twenty guineas, which was 
advertised with the promise of no questions being 
asked.) I took her Majesty's words for a very 
great compliment, for it looked as if she thought 
I could please a woman better than his Highness. 
Really his losing his watch, and its being brought 
back in the manner it has been, is very mysterious, 
and a knotty point to be unravelled at Court, for 
the Prince protests he was not out of his coach in 
the park on the Sunday night it was lost. But by 
accident I think I can give some account of this 
affair, though it is not my business to say a word of 
it at Court, not even to the Queen, who desired me 
to tell her all I knew of it, with a promise that she 
would not tell the Prince. (And I desire also the 
story may never go out of Wentworth Castle again.) 
My man, John Cooper, saw the Prince that night 
let into the park through St. James's Mews alone, 


and the next morning a grenadier told him the 
Prince was robbed last night of his watch and 
twenty-two guineas and a gold medal by a woman 
who had run away from him. The Prince bid the 
grenadier run after her and take the watch from 
her, which, with the seals, were the only things he 
valued ; the money she was welcome to, he said, 
and he ordered him, when he had got the watch, 
to let the woman go. But the grenadier could not 
find her, so I suppose in her haste she dropped it at 
the end of the Mall, or laid it down there, for fear of 
being discovered by the watch and seals, if they 
should be advertised." 1 

The Prince also followed his forbears' example 
in setting up an accredited mistress. His first 
intrigue was with Miss Vane (the beautiful Vanilla), 
daughter of Lord Barnard, and one of the Queen's 
maids of honour, who, it was wittily said, " was 
willing to cease to be one on the first opportunity ". 
Miss Vane had many admirers. Lord Harrington 
was one of them, and Lord Hervey declared himself 
to be another. But Lord Hervey was fond of 
posing as a gallant, and his testimony on the subject 
of his conquests is of little worth. Miss Vane had 
a good deal of beauty, but little understanding, and 
her levity and vanity led her into a fatal error. 
About a year after the Prince had come to England 
she gave birth to a son in her apartments in St. 
James's Palace, and the child was baptised in the 
Chapel Royal, and given the name of Fitz-Frederick 

J The Hon. Peter Wentworth to Lord Strafford, London, 1734. 


Vane, which was, of course, tantamount to explain- 
ing to all the world that the Prince of Wales was 
its father, a fact which the Prince in no wise sought 
to deny. 

Queen Caroline at once dismissed Miss Vane 
from her service, and sharply reprimanded the 
Prince, telling him that in future he must carry on 
his intrigues outside the circle of her household. 
No such scandal had occurred since the disgrace of 
Miss Howe. Miss Vane's family likewise cast her 
off. The Prince took a house for her, and made 
her an allowance. But the unfortunate girl soon had 
experience of the fickleness of men in general, and of 
princes in particular. Frederick neglected her, and 
began to pay marked attentions to Lady Archibald 
Hamilton. Lady Archibald was no longer young, 
she was five and thirty, and the mother of ten chil- 
dren, and, unlike Miss Vane, she had no great 
beauty. But she was clever and intriguing, and 
soon gained great ascendency over her royal lover, 
whose attentions to her became of the most public 
description. "He," says Lord Hervey, "saw her 
often at her own house, where he seemed as welcome 
to the master as the mistress ; he met her often at 
her sister's ; walked with her day after day for 
hours together tte-a-tcte in a morning in St. 
James's Park ; and whenever she was at the draw- 
ing-room (which was pretty frequently) his behaviour 
was so remarkable that his nose and her ear were 

Miss Vane had small chance with so clever a 


rival, and Lady Archibald urged the Prince to get 
rid of her. In this the Queen concurred, for she 
resented the indiscretion of her ex-maid of honour, 
and as there was some thought of marrying the 
Prince at this time, she thought it best that he 
should be clear of affairs of this kind. She did not 
reflect, or did not know, that by getting rid of Miss 
Vane she was merely paving the way for a far more 
dangerous woman to take her place. The Prince 
was easily persuaded to part with Miss Vane. He 
sent Lord Baltimore, one of his lords in waiting, to 
her with a message desiring her to go abroad for 
two or three years, and leave her son to be educated 
in England. If she complied the Prince was willing 
to allow her ,1,600 a year for life, the sum he had 
given her annually since she had been dismissed 
from court ; if she refused, the message wound up 
by saying that : " If she would not live abroad she 
might starve for him in England ". The unfortunate 
young lady was much hurt by the matter and 
manner of the communication. She declined to 
send any answer by Lord Baltimore, on the ground 
that she must have time to think. Lord Hervey 
says that she then sent for him, and asked him as a 
friend to advise her what was best to be done. He 
and Miss Vane composed a letter to the Prince, in 
which the betrayed lady was made to say to her 
betrayer : 

" Your Royal Highness need not be put in mind 
who I am, nor whence you took me : that I acted 
not like what I was born, others may reproach me ; 



but you took me from happiness and brought me 
to misery, that I might reproach you. That I have 
long lost your heart I have long seen, and long 
mourned : to gain it, or rather to reward the gift 
you made me of it, I sacrificed my time, my youth, 
my character, the world, my family, and everything 
that a woman can sacrifice to a man she loves ; how 
little I considered my interest, you must know by 
my never naming my interest to you when I made 
this sacrifice, and by my trusting to your honour, 
when I showed so little regard, when put in balance 
with my love to my own. I have resigned every- 
thing for your sake but my life ; and, had you loved 
me still, I would have risked even that too to please 
you ; but as it is, I cannot think, in my state of 
health, of going out of England, far from all friends 
and all physicians I can trust, and of whom I stand 
in so much need. My child is the only consolation I 
have left ; I cannot leave him, nor shall anything 
but death ever make me quit the country he is in." 

When Frederick received this letter, instead of 
being touched by its pathos, he flew into a rage, 
and swore that the minx could never have written 
it, and he would be revenged on the rascal who 
helped her to concoct it. He took all his friends 
into his confidence, and Miss Vane took all hers, 
and the matter soon became the principal topic of 
conversation at court, from the Queen and the 
Princesses downwards. Miss Vane gained much 
sympathy by repeating the Prince's brutal message, 
that " if she would not live abroad she might for 


him starve in England ". Everybody sympathised 
with her, and everybody blamed the Prince, who 
thereupon threw over Lord Baltimore, and declared 
that he had never sent such a message ; he must 
have been misunderstood. On hearing this, Miss 
Vane, acting on the advice of Pulteney, who was 
thought by many to have written for her the first 
letter, and other friends, wrote a more submissive 
letter to the Prince. In it she declared that she 
had certainly received the message from Lord Balti- 
more, though she could hardly believe that it came 
from the Prince's lips. It was for him to show 
whether he had said those words or not. If he had 
not, she felt sure he would treat her fairly ; if he 
had, then all the world would know how she had 
been ill-treated and betrayed. 

Meanwhile the affair from being the gossip of 
the court became the talk of the town, and ballads 
and pamphlets on the fair Vanilla were everywhere 
circulated, under such titles as <l Vanilla on the 
Straw," "Vanilla, or the Amours of the Court," 
"Vanessa, or the Humours of the Court of Modern 
Gallantry," etc. The Prince seeing that he could 
not abandon the lady without considerable discredit, 
at last agreed to settle on her ,1,600 a year for life, 
to give her the house in Grosvenor Street which 
she had occupied since she had been dismissed from 
court, and to allow her son to remain with her in 
short, he yielded all her terms. 

Poor Miss Vane did not long enjoy her fortune. 
Perhaps she really loved her faithless wooer ; she 

died at Bath soon after, her friends said of a broken 
heart. Her child died about the same time. The 
Queen and Princess Caroline declared that the 
Prince showed more feeling at the loss of this child 
than they had thought him capable of possessing. 
Perhaps it was remorse. 

The two elder Princesses, Anne and Amelia, 
were always quarrelling with their brother. Amelia 
at first pretended to be his friend, and then betrayed 
him to the King. When the Prince found this out 
he hated her, and when the King discovered it he 
despised her ; so she became disliked by both. 
Anne, Princess Royal, was at perpetual feud with 
her brother, and their strife came to a head, strangely 
enough, over music. The Princess had been in- 
structed by Handel, and helped him by every means 
in her power. When Handel took over the man- 
agement of the opera at the Hay market, the Princess 
induced the King and Queen to take a box there, 
and to frequently attend the performances. All 
those who wished to be in favour with the court 
followed suit and the Hay market became a fashion- 
able resort. The Prince saw in this an opportunity 
of annoying his sister, and of showing disrespect 
to the King and Queen. He affected not to care 
about Handel's music, and set to work to organise 
a series of operas at the theatre in Lincoln's Inn 
Fields. Party feeling ran very high just then, and 
seeing that the Prince of Wales was so much 
interested in the opera at Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
many of the Opposition, and all those who had a 


grudge against the court, made a point of attending 
the opera there, and it soon became a formidable 
rival to the Haymarket. Instead of ignoring this, 
the King and Queen took the matter up, and made 
it a personal grievance. They patronised Handel 
more than ever, and made it a point that their 
courtiers should do the same. Thus it came about 
that all those who appeared at the Haymarket were 
regarded as the friends of the King and Queen, and 
all those who attended Lincoln's Inn Fields were 
looked upon as the Prince's friends. 

Opposition is always popular, and the Prince 
managed to gather around him the younger and 
livelier spirits among the nobility, and the most 
beautiful and fashionable of the ladies of quality. 
Certainly Lincoln's Inn Fields was much more 
patronised, and the King and Queen and the Prin- 
cess Royal would often go to one of Handel's operas 
at the Haymarket and find a half empty house. 
This gave Lord Chesterfield an opportunity of 
uttering one of his witticisms. One night when 
he came to Lincoln's Inn Fields he told the Prince 
that he had just looked in at the Haymarket, but 
found nobody there but the King and Queen, "and 
as I thought they might be talking business I came 
away," he said ; a joke which vastly pleased the 
Prince, and greatly incensed the court. Referring 
to the large attendance of peers at Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, the Princess Royal said, with a sneer, that 
she " expected in a little while to see half the House 
of Lords playing in the orchestra in their robes and 


coronets". Conscious of failure she felt extremely 
bitter against her brother, and abused him roundly. 
But the Prince had won and could afford to laugh at 
his sister's invectives. The court was so deplorably 
dull, he said, that all those with any pretensions to 
wit, beauty or fashion refused to follow its lead, and 
looked to him, the heir to the throne, as their natural 
leader, notwithstanding the way in which he was 
treated by the King and Queen. 

Certainly the private life of the Court was far 
from lively. The clockwork regularity of the King, 
both in business and in pleasure, and the limited 
range of his amusements and interests tended to 
make his court appallingly dull in contrast to the 
old days at Leicester House. Mrs. Howard, whose 
little, parties had once been so popular, now with- 
drew more and more to herself. She would probably 
have retired from court altogether had it not been 
that by the death of her brother-in-law, her husband 
became Earl of Suffolk. As she was now a countess 
she could no longer hold the inferior position of 
bedchamber-woman, and placed her resignation in 
the Queen's hands, who, however, met the case by 
making her Mistress of the Robes, and so retaining 
her about the court. Lady Suffolk had no longer 
to perform the duties at the Queen's toilet which 
had given her so much umbrage, and her position 
became pleasanter in consequence of the change. 
We find her writing to Gay a little later : " To 
prevent all future quarrels and disputes I shall let 
you know that I have kissed hands for the place of 


Mistress of the Robes. Her Majesty did me the 
honour to give me the choice of lady of the bed- 
chamber, or that which I find so much more agree- 
able to me that I did not take one moment to 
consider it. The Duchess of Dorset resigned it for 
me ; and everything as yet promises more happiness 
for the latter part of my life than I have yet had the 
prospect of. Seven nights' quiet sleep and seven 
easy days have almost worked a miracle in me." 1 

Even Lord Hervey complained bitterly at this 
time of the monotony of his daily round. He was 
dissatisfied, and considered that his services to the 
Government and the Crown should be repaid by 
some more considerable appointment than the one 
he held, which most people thought equal to his 
abilities, and was certainly in excess of his deserts. 
But Walpole, who knew how useful Hervey was as 
go-between, would not remove him from his post 
about the Queen, notwithstanding his representa- 
tions. Chafing under this refusal Lord Hervey 
wrote the following letter to his friend Mrs. Clayton, 
another courtier and favourite who could sympathise 
with him in his ennui. It gives anything but a 
flattering picture of the royal circle : 

<l I will not trouble you with any account of our 
occupations at Hampton Court. No mill-horse ever 
went in a more constant track, or a more unchanging 
circle, so that by the assistance of an almanack for 
the day of the week, and a watch for the hour of 

1 Lady Suffolk to Gay, Hampton Court, 2gth June, 1731. Suffolk 


the day, you may inform yourself fully, without any 
other intelligence but your memory, of every trans- 
action within the verge of the Court. Walking, 
chaises, levies, and audiences fill the morning ; at 
night the King plays at commerce and backgammon, 
and the Queen at quadrille, where poor Lady Char- 
lotte (de Roussie) runs her usual nightly gauntlet 
the Queen pulling her hood, Mr. Schiitz sputtering 
in her face, and the Princess Royal rapping her 
knuckles, all at a time. It was in vain she fled 
from persecution for her religion : she suffers for 
her pride what she escaped for her faith ; undergoes 
in a drawing-room what she dreaded from the 
Inquisition, and will die a martyr to a Court, though 
not to a Church. 

" The Duke of Grafton takes his nightly opiate of 
lottery, and sleeps as usual between the Princesses 
Amelia and Caroline ; Lord Grantham strolls from 
one room to another (as Dryden says) like some 
discontented ghost that oft appears, and is forbid to 
speak, and stirs himself about, as people stir a fire, 
not with any design, but in hopes to make it burn 
brisker, which his lordship constantly does, to no 
purpose, and yet tries as constantly as if he had ever 
once succeeded. 

"At last the King comes up, the pool finishes, 
and everybody has their dismission : their Majesties 
retire to Lady Charlotte and my Lord Lifford ; the 
Princesses to Bilderbec and Lony ; my Lord Gran- 
tham to Lady Frances and Mr. Clark ; some to 
supper, and some to bed ; and thus (to speak in 


the Scripture phrase) the evening and the morning 
make the day." 1 

Lord Hervey may have been prejudiced, but 
independent testimony comes from Lady Pomfret, 
who was then in attendance at court. She writes : 
" All things appear to move in the same manner as 
usual, and all our actions are as mechanical as the 
clock which directs them." 2 

1 Lord Hervey to Mrs. Clayton, Hampton Court, 3ist July, 1733. 
Sundon Correspondence. 

2 The Countess of Pomfret to Mrs. Clayton, Hampton Court 
Sundon Correspondence. 




IN no sphere was Caroline's influence more marked 
than in Church affairs ; she held the reins of ec- 
clesiastical patronage in her hands, and during her 
ten years' reign as Queen Consort or Queen-Regent 
no important appointment was made in the Church 
without her consent and approval. George the 
Second was a Protestant of the Lutheran type, not 
so much from conviction, for he never troubled to 
inquire into religious matters, as from education and 
environment. He had no liking for the Church of 
England, but as his office compelled him to con- 
form to it, he did so without difficulty. The 
established Church was to him merely a department 
of the civil service of which he was the head. He 
always accepted the Queen's recommendations, 
and was as a rule indifferent about ecclesiastical 

Walpole was quite as Erastian as the King and 
even less orthodox. He had no religious convic- 
tions, and did not make pretence to any ; provided 
the bishops were his political supporters, he cared 
nothing for their Church views ; they might dis- 
believe in the Trinity, but they must believe in him ; 


they might reject the Athanasian Creed (or the 
Apostles' Creed too for that matter), but they must 
profess the articles of the Whig faith. In those 
days the High Church clergy were Tory, and 
the Low Church were Whig ; therefore Walpole 
appointed Low Church bishops, but he had as little 
liking for the one school of thought as the other. 
A thorough-going sceptic himself, he had a con- 
tempt for the latitudinarian clergy, regarding them 
as men who sought to reconcile the irreconcilable. 
But he cared nothing about their views ; all he 
asked was that they should keep their heterodox 
opinions to themselves and not write pamphlets or 
preach sermons which stirred up strife in the Church, 
and made trouble for the Government. Early in 
his political career the Sacheverel disturbance had 
given him a wholesome dread of arousing the odium 
theologicum, and he determined never to repeat the 
mistake he made then, but to let the Church severely 
alone. In his ecclesiastical patronage he was guided 
chiefly by Dr. Gibson, Bishop of London, and he 
preferred to appoint safe men, not particularly 
distinguished in any way, except when he deferred 
to the wishes of the Queen, who kept an eye on all 
Church appointments. 

Caroline might be described as an unorthodox 
Protestant. Theology interested her greatly, but 
her inquiries carried her into the shadowy regions 
of universalism, and the refined Ananism of her 
favourite chaplain, Dr. Samuel Clarke. She no 
more believed in an infallible Bible than in an 


infallible Pope. The Protestant Dissenters, whom 
she favoured with her patronage, would have recoiled 
in horror from her broad views had they known 
them, and would have denounced her with little less 
fervour than they denounced popery and prelacy. 
But Caroline took care that they should not know 
her views, and however freely she might express 
herself to Dr. Clarke and Mrs. Clayton, and at her 
metaphysical discussions, she kept a seal upon her 
lips in public. By law it was necessary that she 
should be a member of the established Church, and 
she was careful always to scrupulously conform to 
its worship. She had prayers read to her every 
morning by her chaplains ; on Sundays and holy 
days she regularly attended the services in one of 
the Chapels Royal. So particular was she that, one 
Sunday when the King and Queen were too ill to 
go to church and had to keep their beds, the chaplain 
came and read the service to them in their bedroom. 
The Queen made a point of receiving the Holy 
Communion on the great festivals of the Church's 
year, such as Easter and Christmas ; and Lady 
Cowper comments on the devoutness of her be- 
haviour on these occasions. Paragraphs like the 
following figured at regular intervals in the Gazette : 
" On Christmas Day the King and Queen, the 
Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Princesses 
Amelia and Caroline, with several of the nobility 
and other persons of distinction, received the sacra- 
ment in the Chapel Royal of St. James's". 1 

1 London Gazette, 27th December, 1729. 
VOL. II. 15 


Nor were the lesser festivals of the Church 
overlooked : " On the Feast of the Epiphany their 
Majesties, the King and Queen, the Prince of 
Wales, and the three eldest Princesses, went to the 
Chapel Royal, preceded by the King's Heralds and 
Pursuivants-at-Arms, and heard divine service. His 
Grace the Duke of Manchester carried the sword of 
state to and from chapel for their Majesties, and his 
Majesty and the Prince of Wales made their offer- 
ings at the altar, of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, 
according to annual custom." The ending of the 
day was of a more secular nature. " At night their 
Majesties played at hazard with the nobility for the 
benefit of the groom porter; and 'twas said the 
King won six hundred guineas, the Queen three 
hundred and sixty, Princess Amelia twenty, Princess 
Caroline ten, the Duke of Grafton and the Earl of 
Portmore several thousand." Even King Charles 
the Martyr, the latest addition to the prayer-book 
kalendar, was not forgotten by the family who were 
keeping his grandson from the throne, for we read : 
" Yesterday being the anniversary of the martyrdom 
of King Charles the First, their Majesties and the 
Royal Family attended divine service, and appeared 
in mourning, as is usual on that day V 

Thus it will be seen that in the matter of outward 
conformity to the rites of the established Church the 
Queen gave no occasion for cavil. She gave large 
sums to Church charities, such as ^500 at a time 
to the Corporation of the Sons of the Clergy ; she 

1 Daily Courant, 3ist January, 1733. 


endowed livings and restored churches, such as 
Richmond, Greenwich and Kensington, presenting 
to Greenwich a fine peal of bells, and to Kensington 
a new steeple. She even feigned an interest in 
missionary work, and listened patiently to Berkeley 
when he expounded to her his scheme for establish- 
ing a missionary college in Bermuda in connection 
with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
She did little to forward it, and he somewhat 
ungratefully declared that his visits to her had been 
so much waste of time, and called her discussions 
"useless debates". Yet, though the Queen did little 
to convert his heathens, she remembered Berkeley 
later, and obtained for him the deanery of Down. 

But, with all her outward conformity, Caroline 
never understood the peculiar position of the Church 
of England, nor did she trouble to understand it. 
Once, soon after she came to England, Dr. Robin- 
son, then Bishop of London, who was opposed to 
Dr. Samuel Clarke's views, waited upon her to 
endeavour to explain the Church's teaching, but he 
met with a repulse. Lady Cowper says : " This 
day the Bishop of London waited on my mistress, 
and desired Mrs. Howard to go into the Princess 
and say that he thought it was his duty to wait upon 
her, as he was Dean of the Chapel, to satisfy her 
on any doubts and scruples she might have in regard 
to our religion, and explain anything to her which 
she did not comprehend. She was a little nettled 
when Mrs. Howard delivered this message, and 
said : ' Send him away civilly ; though he is very 


impertinent to suppose that I, who refused to be 
Empress for the sake of the Protestant religion, do 
not understand it fully'." Caroline's words show 
how little she realised, or sympathised with, the 
position of the Church of England ; it was to her 
a Protestant sect that and nothing more. The 
Church of Laud, Juxon, Andre wes, Sancroft and 
Ken, the via media between Roman Catholicism 
and Protestantism, did not appeal to her ; in fact 
she viewed it with dislike. She made no pretence 
to impartiality in her patronage, or to holding the 
balance even between the different parties in the 
Church ; all her bishops were more or less of her 
way of thinking. She would have made Dr. 
Samuel Clarke Archbishop of Canterbury when 
Archbishop Wake died, had it not been for Bishop 
Gibson's temperate remonstrance. He told her that 
though Clarke was " the most learned and honest 
man in her dominions, yet he had one difficulty he 
was not a Christian". To do Clarke justice, he 
never desired a bishopric, and he had doubts about 
the propriety of accepting one. Moreover, he pre- 
ferred his unique position at the court, where he was, 
unofficially, the keeper of the Queen's conscience. 

It must be admitted that the Queen in her dis- 
tribution of ecclesiastical patronage always recognised 
the claims of scholarship and learning, and she took 
infinite pains to discover the most deserving men. 
Among the divines to whom she gave high prefer- 
ment, besides Berkeley, were the learned Butler and 
the judicious Seeker, many years later Archbishop of 


Canterbury. Seeker, when he was Queen's chaplain, 
mentioned to Caroline one day the name of Butler, 
the famous author of The Analogy between Natural 
and Revealed Religion. The Queen said she had 
thought that he was dead ; Seeker said : " No, 
madam, not dead but buried ". The Queen took 
the hint, and soon after appointed Butler Clerk of 
the Closet. He was thus brought into contact with 
her, and she delighted exceedingly in his psycho- 
logical bent, and would command him to come to 
her, on her free evenings, from seven to nine, to 
talk philosophy and metaphysics. She caused his 
name to be put down for the next vacant bishopric, 
and on her death-bed she commended Butler par- 
ticularly to the King, who carried out his wife's 
wishes and made him Bishop of Durham. 

Dr. Thomas Sherlock, a man eminent for his 
talents and learning, was much liked by the Queen. 
She appointed him to the see of Bangor, and later 
translated him to Salisbury in succession to his 
rival Hoadley. For some time Sherlock filled 
much the same position with the Queen that 
Gibson, Bishop of London, did with Walpole. 
He was the Queen's favourite bishop, and she 
intended to translate him to London when Arch- 
bishop Wake should die, and Gibson, whom 
Whiston used to call " the heir apparent to Canter- 
bury," should be advanced to the primacy by Wal- 
pole. Between these two eminent prelates, Sherlock 
and Gibson, there existed a most unchristian spirit 
of jealousy, and Gibson besought Walpole not to 


allow Sherlock to succeed him in the bishopric of 
London. Alas ! for the mutability of temporal 
things : when at last Wake died, it was not Gibson, 
but a comparatively unknown bishop, Potter of 
Oxford, who succeeded him in the primacy. Before 
that time arrived Gibson fell out of favour with 
Walpole, and Sherlock with the Queen, for the 
part they played in securing the rejection of the 
Quakers' Relief Bill. Walpole had yielded to the 
clamour of the Church party so far as to refuse 
to repeal the Test and Corporation Acts, but by 
way of compensation to the dissenters he wished 
to carry a bill for the relief of Quakers. It was 
a point of conscience with the Quakers to refuse 
to pay tithes unless compelled to do so by 
legal force. This force was always applied, and 
they paid. All they asked for now was that the 
legal proceedings against them should be made less 
costly. Walpole was willing to give them this 
relief and the Queen supported him, but the bishops, 
headed by Gibson and seconded by Sherlock, elated 
by their recent victory over the Nonconformists, 
rose against it to a man, and though the Bill was 
carried in the Commons it was rejected by the 
Lords. The King was highly indignant and de- 
nounced the whole bench of bishops as " a parcel 
of black, canting, hypocritical rascals ". Walpole's 
resentment was especially levelled against Gibson, 
and the Queen's against Sherlock. The Queen sent 
for the latter bishop and trounced him in terms 
which recall those which Queen Elizabeth was 


said to address to her recalcitrant prelates : "How 
is it possible," said Caroline to Sherlock, "you 
could be so blind and so silly as to be running 
a race of popularity with the Bishop of London 
among the clergy, and hope you would rise upon 
the Bishop of London's ruins (whom you hate 
and wish ruined) when you were going hand in 
hand with him in these very paths which you hoped 
would ruin him ? . . . Are you not ashamed not to 
have seen this, and to have been at once in this 
whole matter, the Bishop of London's assistant and 
enemy tool and dupe ? " She told the crestfallen 
prelate that in the present temper of the King and 
Prime Minister he could hope for neither London 
nor Canterbury, and advised him to go to his dio- 
cese and try to live it down. As their dioceses were 
the last places where Queen Caroline's bishops 
were generally to be found, this was equivalent to a 
sentence of banishment. Many years later Sherlock 
succeeded Gibson as Bishop of London. 

The Queen's chief adviser in Church matters 
was her favourite, Mrs. Clayton. Mrs. Clayton had 
no pretence to learning, and was ignorant of the 
rudiments of theology though, like many women 
of her type, she loved to pose as an authority 
on theological questions. She had imbibed the 
Arian principles then fashionable at court, and 
could repeat parrot-wise the shibboleth of her party. 
As she held much the same views as the Queen 
(though without her saving graces of learning 
and common sense), they often settled between 


them who should succeed to the vacant deaneries 
and bishoprics. Walpole came often in conflict with 
Mrs. Clayton over Church appointments, for she 
was always urging the Queen to prefer extreme 
men of heterodox views who gave much trouble to 
the Government by their indiscreet utterances. At 
last, after several experiences of the vagaries of 
these bellicose divines, Walpole remonstrated so 
strongly that Mrs. Clayton's recommendations were 
chiefly confined to the Irish Church. Here for 
years she appointed practically whom she would. 
The influence of the Queen's woman of the bed- 
chamber was well known to aspiring divines, and she 
was overwhelmed with letters from parsons and pre- 
lates pining for preferment. Many of these letters 
(preserved in theSundon correspondence) are couched 
in the most cringing tone, and are full of the grossest 
flattery. The deans and bishops in esse or in posse 
generally followed up their letters by making her little 
presents ; for instance, we find the Bishop of Cork 
sending her a dozen bottles of "green usquebaugh, 
sealed with the figure of St. Patrick on black wax," 
and another prelate a suit of fine Irish linen. 

Among Mrs. Clayton's Irish protdgds was Dr. 
Clayton, a kinsman of her husband, for whom she 
procured, despite the protest of the Primate of 
Ireland, the bishopric of Clogher. Bishop Clayton 
made several attacks on the doctrine of the Trinity, 
and once proposed in the Irish House of Lords 
to abolish from the prayer-book the Nicene and 
Athanasian Creeds, in a speech of which one of his 


colleagues remarked, " it made his ears tingle ". 
Dr. Clayton was not much of a scholar, and less 
of a theologian, and he adapted his views to 
meet the approval of his patroness. The letters 
of this spiritual pastor to Queen Caroline's woman 
of the bedchamber are models of subserviency. 
Once Mrs. Clayton rebuked him for a sermon he 
had preached on the death of Charles the First, which 
seemed to her to praise the King overmuch. He 
at once wrote to express his regret, and said he 
would tone it down by adding " bred up with notions 
of despotic government under the pernicious in- 
fluence of his father". He placed his patronage, 
like his opinions, at her disposal, and kept her 
informed of everything that went on in Ireland- 
acting, in fact, as a sort of spy in the court interest. 
His complaisance was rewarded by his patroness, 
who caused him to be successively advanced to the 
wealthier sees of Killala and Cork. Most effusive 
was his gratitude : "Mrs. Clayton cannot command 
what I will not perform," he writes, and again : 
" Could you but form to yourself the image of 
another person endued with the same steadiness 
of friendship, liveliness of conversation, soundness 
of judgment, and a desire of making everybody 
happy that is about her, which all the world can 
see in you, but yourself, you would then pardon my 
forwardness in desiring to keep up a correspondence. 
... If I am free from any vice, I think it is that of 
ingratitude." l 

1 Sundon Correspondence. The Bishop of Killala to Mrs. Clayton, 
Dublin, iyth April, 1731. 


Bishop Clayton's view of the rules that should 
govern ecclesiastical preferment are worth quoting. 
The particular candidate he was recommending was 
a son of the Earl of Abercorn, who had taken holy 
orders. " What occurs to me at present," he writes ta 
Mrs. Clayton, " is the consideration of ecclesiastical 
preferments in a political view. It has not been 
customary for persons either of birth or fortune, to 
breed up their children to the Church, by which 
means, when preferment in the Church is given by 
their Majesties, there is seldom any one obliged 
but the very person to whom it is given, having no 
relatives either in the House of Lords or Commons 
that are gratified or are kept in dependence there- 
by. The only way to remedy which is by giving 
extraordinary encouragements to persons of birth 
and interest whenever they seek for ecclesiastical 
preferment, which will encourage others of the same 
quality to come into the Church, and may thereby 
render ecclesiastical preferments of the same use to 
their Majesties as civil employments." 1 Of the 
higher interests of the Church or of religion, it will 
be noted, this servile prelate makes no mention ; 
but the fear of the world and the bedchamber 
woman was always before his eyes. 

Mrs. Clayton had a large number of poor and 
obscure relatives, many of whom benefited at the 
expense of the Church. One of her nieces, Dorothy 
Dyves, whom she had made a maid of honour to 
the Princess Royal, fell in love with the Princess's 

1 Ibid., igth March, 1730. 


young chaplain, the Reverend Charles Chevenix, who 
was not unmindful of the avenues to preferment thus 
opened to him. Mrs. Clayton at first refused her 
consent : she did not consider a poor chaplain good 
enough for her niece, but Chevenix made the 
following appeal to her : 

" My salary as chaplain to her Royal Highness 
will, I hope, be thought a reasonable earnest of 
some future preferment, and, could I ever be happy 
enough to obtain your protection, I might flatter 
myself that I should one day owe to your goodness 
what I can never expect from my own merit such 
a competency of fortune as may make Miss Dyves's 
choice a little less unequal. My birth, I may venture 
to add, is that of a gentleman. My father long 
served, and at last was killed, in a post where he 
was very well known a post that is oftener an 
annual subsistence than a large provision for a family, 
and that small provision was unfortunately lost in 
the year '20. One of my brothers is now in the 
army, a profession not thought below people of the 
first rank ; another, indeed, keeps a shop, but I hope 
that circumstance rather deserves compassion than 
contempt." 1 

Mrs. Clayton was touched by the frankness of 
,this appeal, but the shop remained an obstacle for 
some time. At last she gave her consent. Chevenix 
married Dorothy Dyves, and then it was only a 
question of a little time for the chaplain to blossom 

1 Sundon Correspondence. The Rev. Charles Chevenix to Lady 
Sundon, London, 24th November, 1734. 


into a bishop. He was in due course advanced to 
the see of Killaloe, and afterwards to the richer one 
of Waterford. Truly Mrs. Clayton was, as her 
niece describes her, one of the most " worthy and 
generous of aunts ". No one could be more mindful 
of family claims. Her patronage was not entirely 
ecclesiastical, though she made the Church her 
speciality ; she found for her brother-in-law a com- 
fortable post in the civil service ; she obtained for 
her nephews good military and civil appointments, 
and her nieces were all made maids of honour. 
Lord Pembroke sent her a valuable present a 
marble table and obtained something for a poor 
relative. Lord Pomfret gave her a pair of diamond 
ear-rings, worth ,1,400; a very good investment, 
for he got in return the lucrative appointment of 
Master of the Horse. Mrs. Clayton, or Lady Sundon 
as she had then become, was very proud of these 
diamond ear-rings, and appeared with them at one 
of the Queen's drawing-rooms. This roused the 
ire of old Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who had 
once filled a similar position with Queen Anne. 
" How can that woman," said Duchess Sarah in a 
loud voice, so that all around might hear, " how 
can that woman have the impudence to go about 
with that bribe in her ear ? " " Madam," replied 
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who was standing 
by, " how can people know where there is wine to 
be sold, unless there is a sign hung out ? " 

It can well be imagined that a system of 
ecclesiastical patronage conducted on these lines did 


not result in advantage to the Church. Walpole 
appointed bishops for purely political reasons, Mrs. 
Clayton for monetary and family consideration, 
the Queen because their views coincided with her 
own. Yet the Queen, though sometimes misled by 
her favourites, who traded on her ignorance of the 
English Church, honestly tried to appoint the best 
men according to her lights. The learning and 
ability of her bishops were undeniable ; their only 
drawback was that they did not believe in the 
doctrines of the Church of which they were ap- 
pointed the chief pastors. Without entering into 
theological controversy, it may be safely laid 
down that those who direct an institution ought 
to believe in the institution itself. This is pre- 
cisely what most of Caroline's bishops did not do ; 
their energies were directed into other channels, 
and their enthusiasms reserved for other pursuits. 
Some of her bishops, notably those who were 
appointed to sees in Ireland and Wales, never went 
near their dioceses at all, while others treated the 
cardinal doctrines of Christianity with tacit con- 
tempt, if not open unbelief. The indifference of the 
bishops filtered down through the lower ranks of 
the clergy, and gradually influenced the whole tone 
of the established Church ; if the bishops would 
not do their duty they could hardly blame their clergy 
for failing in theirs. Moreover, the policy of the 
Whig Government, in packing the Episcopal Bench 
solely with its own partisans, resulted in the bishops 
being out of touch with their clergy, for the majority 


of the parsons, especially in the country districts, were 
Tory, and clung to their political faith as firmly as 
to their religious convictions. 

At no period of her history has the Church of 
England been in greater danger than she was 
from her own bishops and clergy in the reign 
of George the Second. On the one hand was a 
party embittered by defeat, shut out from all hope 
of preferment, and inflamed by a spirit of intoler- 
ance in things political and ecclesiastical ; on the 
other was a party just as intolerant in reality, but 
hiding its intolerance under the cloak of broad and 
liberal views, and with leaders using the intellect 
and learning they undoubtedly possessed, to sub- 
vert, or at least to set aside, the doctrines of the 
Church they had sworn to believe. Indifference in 
practice quickly succeeded indifference in belief, and 
herefrom may be traced most of the ills which 
afflicted the Church of England during the eighteenth 
century. It was no wonder, when the established 
Church was spiritually dead, that earnest-minded men, 
disgusted at this condition of things, and hopeless 
of remedying it, set up religious bodies of their 
own. The growth of Methodism in the eighteenth 
century was directly due to the shortcomings of the 
Church, which had lost its hold on the masses 
of the people. The year after Queen Caroline's 
death, in 1738, John Wesley returned from Georgia, 
and, aided by his brother Charles, began the mission 
which was attended with such marvellous results. 
True, the Wesleys, in words at least, never wavered 

From a Painting by Mrs. Hoadly in the National Portrait Gallery. 


in their adherence to the Church of England, but the 
discouragement they met with from the bishops and 
the often ill-directed zeal of their followers led in 
time to the inevitable separation, which was followed 
later by schisms among the Methodists themselves. 
One of the most typical of the Georgian bishops 
was Hoadley, who became successively Bishop of 
Bangor, Hereford, Salisbury and Winchester, "cring- 
ing from bishopric to bishopric ". Hoadley's career 
was a striking illustration of the superiority of mind 
over body. When he was an undergraduate at 
Cambridge he had an illness which crippled him 
for life ; he was obliged to walk with a crutch, and 
had to preach in a kneeling posture. His appear- 
ance was exceedingly unprepossessing, but he com- 
pletely overcame these natural disadvantages by 
the sheer force of his will. He had taken up the 
Church as a profession, and from the professional 
point of view he certainly succeeded in it ; but 
he does not seem to have believed in the teaching 
of the Church whose principles he had nominally 
accepted. He was a conformist simply because it 
paid him to conform. Even a favourable biographer 
writes : "So far indeed was Hoadley from adhering 
strictly to the doctrines of the Church that it is a 
little to be wondered at on what principles he con- 
tinued throughout life to profess conformity ". 

Hoadley early threw in his lot with the Whig 
party, and in Queen Anne's reign was looked upon as 
the leader of the Low Church divines, and a staunch 
upholder of Whig principles. He did not obtain any 


considerable preferment until George the First came 
to the throne, when he was made a royal chaplain, 
and soon after advanced to the bishopric of Bangor. 
He did not once visit his bishopric during the whole 
of his six years tenure of the see, but remained 
in London, as the leader of the extreme latitudin- 
arian party, which, since the Princess of Wales's 
patronage, had become the fashionable one, and 
offered the best prospects of promotion. He there- 
fore broke with the orthodox section of the Low 
Church party, who came to regard him with little 
less dislike than High Churchmen. Hoadley's love 
of polemics soon brought him into conflict with 
Convocation, and led to what was known as the 
"Bangorian controversy". The bishop had preached 
a sermon before King George the First on " The 
nature of the Kingdom or Church of Christ," in which 
he denied that there was any such thing as a visible 
Church of Christ, or Church authority. Convocation 
censured the sermon, and would have proceeded to 
further measures against the recalcitrant bishop 
had not the Government, by an arbitrary exercise 
of power, suspended it altogether. Convocation 
thus prorogued was not summoned again until the 
middle of the reign of Queen Victoria. It would 
weary and not edify to enter into the details of this 
dreary Bangorian controversy ; the tracts and pam- 
phlets written upon it numbered nearly two hundred, 
and the heat and bitterness were such as only a 
religious dispute could engender. 

Hoadley did not heed his ecclesiastical enemies, 


for he had staunch friends at court ; he enjoyed not 
only the favour of the King and the Princess of 
Wales, but had the ear of Mrs. Clayton, soon to 
become a dispenser of patronage. His letters to 
her are some of the most fulsome preserved in her 
correspondence. " I compare you in my thoughts," 
he writes, "with others of the same kind, and I 
see with pleasure, so great a superiority to the 
many, that I think I can hardly express my sense 
of it strongly enough. Compared with them there- 
fore, I may justly speak of you as one of the 
superior species, and you will supply the comparison 
if I do not always express it, and not think me 
capable of offering incense, which I know you are 
not capable of receiving." l 

In 1721 Hoadley was translated from Bangor to 
the richer see of Hereford, and two years later to 
Salisbury, which was wealthier still. At Salisbury he 
so far remembered his episcopal duties as to deliver a 
primary charge to his clergy, a poor composition. He 
was not content with Salisbury, and cast envious eyes 
upon the rich see of Durham, which then main- 
tained a prince-bishop. Walpole, who disliked him 
as being a prottgt of Mrs. Clayton's, passed him 
over in favour of Dr. Talbot, Bishop of Oxford. 

Hoadley owed much of his influence with the 
Whig party to the fact that he had always shown him- 
self very friendly to Dissenters, and was in favour of 
abolishing the iniquitous Test and Corporation Acts 

l Sundon Correspondence. Bishop Hoadley to Mrs. Clayton [un- 

VOL. II. 1 6 


and other disabilities under which they laboured ; 
the animosity of his enemies arose quite as much 
from this fact as from their dislike of his opinions. 
The Protestant Nonconformists were the backbone of 
the Whig party, and the staunchest supporters of the 
House of Hanover ; they therefore, not unnaturally, 
expected, in return for their great political services, 
that the disabilities which pressed upon them should 
be removed. From time to time they gained certain 
points, and the Acts were rendered practically inno- 
cuous by annual indemnities ; but still they disfigured 
the Statute Book, and to this the Dissenters rightly 
objected. In 1730 a determined attempt was made 
by the Dissenters throughout England to secure 
the repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts, and 
they resolved to present a monster petition to 
Parliament praying that the matter should be pro- 
ceeded with forthwith. This action put the Govern- 
ment into a position of considerable difficulty, and 
it was entirely opposed to Walpole's policy of 
letting sleeping dogs lie. Though both he and 
the Queen (we will leave the King out of the 
question, as he does not count) had the fullest sym- 
pathy with the aspirations of Dissenters ; yet they 
saw that to raise this question at the present time 
would be to fan the smouldering embers of religious 
controversy, and would put new heart and strength 
into the Opposition. The clergy of the established 
Church, almost to a man, would be against them, and, 
with a general election impending, that would mean 
that the Government would have an active enemy in 


every parish and hamlet in the kingdom. Such a 
reform, though just and reasonable in itself, would 
have the effect of alienating a number of the Govern- 
ment's lukewarm supporters, and would give an 
opportunity for the Roman Catholics to assert them- 
selves and claim relief also, for they were far more 
cruelly oppressed than the Protestant Dissenters. 

Walpole knew that Hoadley had influence with 
the Dissenters, and he and the Queen talked it 
over, and resolved to ask Hoadley to see the heads 
of the dissenting party and endeavour to persuade 
them not to bring forward their petition. As Wal- 
pole had given offence to Hoadley by refusing him 
Durham, the Queen undertook this delicate mission. 
She sent for the bishop, and used all her eloquence 
to bring him round to her way of thinking. She 
dwelt on her admiration of his principles and 
writings ; she said it was in his power to be 
of great use to the Government, and to place her, 
the Queen, under a personal debt of gratitude, 
which she would be slow to forget. She pointed 
out the danger that would arise from the 
religious question being raised at the present 
time, and she therefore desired him to ask the 
Dissenters to postpone their request. Hoadley 
demurred a good deal, possibly because the hint 
of promotion was not definite enough, and pointed 
out that as he had always urged the repeal of the 
offending Acts, he could hardly turn round now 
and eat his words. But he said he would feel the 
popular pulse, and if it appeared that the present 


was an inopportune moment for raising the question, 
he would endeavour to persuade the Dissenters to 
postpone it to a more convenient season. 

Soon after this interview a report was promul- 
gated by Walpole to the effect that "the Queen 
had sent for the Bishop of Salisbury and convinced 
him that this request of the Dissenters was so 
unreasonable that he had promised her not to 
support it ". This report had the very opposite 
effect to what was intended. It caused the 
Dissenters to be suspicious of their friend, and 
consequently tended to nullify any advice he might 
give them. The bishop went to Walpole in a rage 
and said he could be of no service in the matter 
whatever, and that so far from persuading the Dis- 
senters from bringing forward their petition, he 
should now encourage them to do so. Walpole 
tried to soothe Hoadley by fair words, but finding 
him not amenable to them, he gave him a strong 
hint that if he persisted in his intention, he would 
ruin any chances of promotion he might have from 
the Government or the Queen. This brought the 
bishop to his bearings ; he had more conferences 
with the Queen on the subject, and was ultimately 
bought over to complaisance by the promise of the 
next reversion of the see of Winchester. The Dis- 
senters fell into a trap. From all over England they 
sent delegates to London, who on their part entrusted 
the negotiations with the Government to a committee 
of London Nonconformists. As this committee was 
composed of tradesmen in the City, or lawyers eager 


for promotion, Walpole was able to buy them over 
singly and collectively, and so, betrayed by the 
bishop and their delegates, the Dissenters went to 
the wall. 

Hoadley had the misfortune to please neither the 
Government nor the Dissenters, for neither trusted 
him ; but he probably did not mind, as he received 
what he worked for the see of Winchester. Soon 
after his translation to Winchester he proceeded, after 
the approved fashion of Mrs. Clayton's favourites, to 
show his independence and disburden his soul, by 
publishing a pamphlet called A Plain Account of the 
Nature and End of the Sacrament of the Lords 
Supper. This set the clergy by the ears, and they 
promptly started a heresy hunt, to the great discom- 
fiture of the Government responsible for Hoadley's 

An answer was written to the pamphlet by Dr. 
Brett, in which Hoadley was attacked with violence 
and bitterness. The King, who objected to Hoad- 
ley, asked the Queen what she thought of Brett's 
answer, which he had much enjoyed reading, 
not because of the nature of the controversy, for 
which he cared little, but because of the personal 
abuse of a prelate whom he disliked. The Queen, 
who was very much annoyed at Hoadley's in- 
discretion, however much she might agree with 
his opinions, began to explain her views on the 
subject of the controversy. But the King cut 
her short testily, and told her, " She always loved 
talking of such nonsense and things she knew 


nothing of;" adding, that " if it were not for such 
foolish persons loving to talk of those things when 
they were written, the fools who wrote upon them 
would never think of publishing their nonsense, and 
disturbing the Government with impertinent dis- 
putes that nobody of any sense ever troubled 
himself about." Walpole had evidently entered his 
protest too, aimed not only at Hoadley but at Mrs. 
Clayton. The Queen, who made it a rule never 
to oppose her liege in anything, bowed assent and 
saicl : " Sir, I only did it to let Lord Hervey know 
that his friend's book had not met with that general 
approbation he had pretended ". 

" A pretty fellow for a friend," said the King, 
turning to Hervey, who was standing by. " Pray, 
what is it that charms you in him ? His pretty 
limping gait ? " (and then he acted the bishop's 
lameness) " or his nasty, stinking breath ? phaugh ! 
or his silly laugh, when he grins in your face 
for nothing, and shows his nasty rotten teeth ? 
Or is it his great honesty that charms your lord- 
ship his asking a thing of me for one man, and, 
when he came to have it in his own power to 
bestow, refusing the Queen to give it to the very 
man for whom he had asked it ? Or do you 
admire his conscience that makes him now put 
out a book that, till he was Bishop of Winchester, 
for fear his conscience might hurt his preferment, 
he kept locked up in his chest ? Is his conscience 
so much improved beyond what it was when he 
was Bishop of Bangor, or Hereford, or Salisbury 


(for this book, I hear, was written so long ago) ? 
Or was it that he would risk losing a shilling 
a-year more whilst there was nothing better to 
be got than what he had ? My lord, I am very 
sorry you choose your friends so ill ; but I cannot 
help saying, if the Bishop of Winchester is your 
friend, you have a great puppy and a very dull 
fellow, and a great rascal for your friend. It is a 
very pretty thing for such scoundrels, when they 
are raised by favour so much above their desert, to 
be talking and writing their stuff, to give trouble to 
the Government that has shown them that favour ; 
and very modest, and a canting hypocritical knave 
to be crying, ' The Kingdom of Christ is not of this 
world? at the same time that he, as Christ's am- 
bassador receives .6,000 or .7,000 a year. But 
he is just the same thing in the Church that he is in 
the Government, and as ready to receive the best 
pay for preaching the Bible, though he does not 
believe a word of it, as he is to take favours from 
the Crown, though, by his republican spirit and 
doctrine, he would be glad to abolish its power." * 

Having delivered himself of this lengthy exor- 
dium, the King stopped and looked at the Queen, 
as much as to say who dare gainsay him. She had 
not been able to get a word in edgeways, but by 
smiling and nodding she tried to signify her approval 
of everything her lord and master said. 

This is the only instance on record we have of 
the King's direct interest in ecclesiastical affairs, for, 

1 Hervey's Memoirs. 


during the Queen's lifetime, Church patronage re- 
mained in her hands, and even after her death her 
expressed wishes were carried out. But when all 
these were fulfilled, many aspiring divines, since the 
Queen and Lady Sundon were no longer available, 
paid their court to the King's mistress, Madame de 
Walmoden, afterwards Countess of Yarmouth, and, 
for the rest of George the Second's reign, the royal 
road to bishoprics ran through the apartments of the 




SOON after the withdrawal of the excise scheme 
the King sent a message to Parliament with the 
news that his eldest daughter, the Princess Royal, 
was betrothed to the Prince of Orange. The match 
was not a brilliant one, for the Prince was deformed, 
not of royal rank, and miserably poor. But the 
" Prince of Orange " was still a name to be conjured 
with among the Whigs and the Protestant supporters 
of the dynasty generally, and the announcement 
was popular, as a further guarantee of the Protestant 
succession. The Government regained some of the 
credit they had lost over the excise scheme and 
Parliament willingly voted the Princess a dower of 
^80,000, which was double the sum ever given 
before to a princess of the blood royal. 

The Princess Royal had no affection for her be- 
trothed, whom she had never even seen, but she was 
exceedingly anxious to be married. It was said at 
court that the King of France had once enter- 
tained the idea of asking her hand in marriage for 
the Dauphin, but her grandfather, George the First, 


would not listen to it on account of the difference of 
religion. There was no evidence to support this 
story, and it was certain that since George the Second 
had ascended the throne no suitor of any importance 
had come forward ; so that, despite his drawbacks, 
the Prince of Orange was the best husband that 
could be got. Indeed, it seemed as though it were 
a choice between him and no husband at all. The 
Prince of Wales was exceedingly indignant with his 
sister for getting married before him, and so obtain- 
ing a separate establishment, a thing for which he 
had hitherto asked in vain. He need not have 
envied her, for she was making a match that would 
satisfy neither her love nor her ambition. 

The Queen showed no enthusiasm for the mar- 
riage, and the negotiations were unduly prolonged. 
Months passed before everything was settled, and it 
was November before the Prince of Orange set out 
for England and his intended bride. A royal yacht 
was sent to escort him to English shores, and, 
according to a journal : " The person who brought 
the first news of the Prince of Orange being seen 
off Margate was one who kept a public house there ; 
who, upon seeing the yacht, immediately mounted 
his horse and rode to Canterbury, where he took 
post horses and came to St. James's at eleven 
o'clock on Monday night. Her Majesty ordered 
him twenty guineas and Sir Robert Walpole five. 
Twenty he hath since laid out on a silver tankard, 
on which his Majesty's arms are engraved." 1 

1 Daily Journal, 8th November, 1733. 


Probably this messenger was the only person 
who had reason to rejoice at the arrival of the Prince 
of Orange. The Prince was lodged in Somerset 
House, and many of the nobility went to wait upon 
him there, hoping by paying him their court to 
please the King. They little knew that the King 
and Queen were in their hearts opposed to the 
match, and had only yielded to it from political 
exigencies, and the impossibility of finding any other 
suitable suitor for their daughter. The Queen sent 
Lord Hervey to Somerset House with orders to 
come back and tell her " without disguise what sort 
of hideous animal she was to prepare herself to see ". 
The Prince was not nearly so bad as he had been 
painted, for though he was deformed, he had a 
pleasant and engaging manner. The Queen seemed 
more interested in the appearance of the future 
bridegroom than the bride herself, for the Princess 
Royal, when she heard of the arrival of her lover, 
continued playing the harpsichord with some of the 
opera people as though nothing had happened. 
" For my part," said the Queen, " I never said 
the least word to encourage her in this marriage 
or to dissuade her from it." The King, too, left 
the Princess at liberty, but as she was determined 
to marry some one, and as the Prince, though not a 
crowned King, was the head of a petty state, she said 
that she was willing to marry him. 1 The King then 
remembered his duty as a father, and not too nicely 

1 The Prince of Orange was hereditary Stadtholder of Friesland, 
and Stadtholder by election of Groningen and Guelderland. 


warned his daughter of the Prince's physical unattrac- 
tiveness, but she said she was resolved, if he were 
a baboon, to marry him. " Well, then, marry him," 
retorted the King in a huff, "and you'll have baboon 
enough I warrant you." 

The wedding was arranged to take place im- 
mediately after the arrival of the bridegroom elect, 
but as ill-luck would have it the Prince fell sick of 
a fever, and for some months lay dangerously ill. 
During the whole time of his sickness none of the 
Royal Family went to visit him, or took any notice of 
him, by command of the King, who wished to inculcate 
the doctrine that before his marriage to the Princess 
the Prince of Orange was nobody, and could only 
become somebody through alliance with the Royal 
Family. The Prince, though he must have felt this 
neglect, behaved with great good sense, and as soon 
as he was able to go out, he went to St. James's 
Palace to pay his respects as if nothing had happened. 
He had an interview with his future bride, and 
stayed to dinner with the princesses informally. 
When the King heard of it he was very angry, 
and forbade them to receive him any more without 
his permission. The occasion did not arise, for a 
few days later the Prince of Orange went to Bath 
for a cure, and did not return to London until a 
fortnight before his wedding. 

The marriage took place on March I4th, 1734. 
The Princess Royal, who had maintained an im- 
passive front throughout her engagement, neither 
evincing pleasure at the Prince's arrival, nor sorrow 


at his illness, showed the same impassive demeanour 
at her wedding. The ceremony took place at night 
in the Chapel Royal, St. James's. A covered gallery 
of wood was built outside, through which the pro- 
cession had to pass. This gallery gave great offence 
to old Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, who could 
see it from her windows of Marlborough House. 
It had been erected when the wedding was first 
settled to take place, four months before, and she 
was indignant at its being left standing so long. 
"I wonder," she said, "when neighbour George 
will remove his orange chest." On the night of 
the wedding, the " orange chest " was illuminated 
from end to end, and accommodated four thousand 
people who were favoured with tickets to see the 
processions pass. At seven o'clock in the evening 
the bridegroom with his attendants was waiting in 
the great council chamber of St. James's, the bride 
with her ladies was ready in the great drawing-room, 
and the King and Queen, with the rest of the Royal 
Family were assembled in the smaller drawing-room. 
Three processions were then marshalled, that of the 
bridegroom, that of the bride, and that of the King 
and Queen. The Chapel Royal was upholstered 
for the occasion more like a theatre than a place 
of worship, being hung with velvet, gold and silver 
tissue, fringes, tassels, gilt lustres, and so forth. 
The Prince of Orange was magnificently clad in 
gold and silver, and as he wore a long wig that 
flowed down his back and concealed his figure, 
he made a more presentable appearance than was 


expected. The Princess Royal was also gorgeously 
attired ; she wore a robe of silver tissue, and her 
ornaments included a necklace of twenty-two im- 
mense diamonds ; her train, which was six yards 
long, was supported by ten bridesmaids, the daugh- 
ters of dukes and earls, who were also clad in silver 
tissue. The Queen and her younger daughters 
were visibly affected during the ceremony, and could 
not restrain their tears at the sacrifice they considered 
the Princess was making. The King, who had shown 
himself very restive before the wedding, behaved very 
well on the day, but the Prince of Wales, though he 
was tolerably civil to the bridegroom, could not 
bring himself to be cordial to the bride. 

At twelve o'clock, the Prince and Princess of 
Orange supped in public with the Royal Family, and 
after the banquet, which lasted two hours, came the 
most curious part of the ceremony. The English 
Court had borrowed a custom from Versailles, and 
a most trying one it must have been for the bride and 
bridegroom. As soon as the Prince and Princess of 


Orange had retired, the whole court were admitted to 
see them sitting up in bed that is to say, the courtiers 
passed through the room and made obeisance. The 
bridegroom, now that he had doffed his fine clothes 
and peruke, did not look his best, but the bride 
maintained her self-possession, even under this 
ordeal. Referring next morning to the sight of the 
princely pair in bed, the Queen exclaimed : " Ah ! 
mon Dieu ! quand je voiois entrer ce monstre 
pour coucher avec ma fille, j'ai pens6 m'evanouir ; 


je chancelois auparavant, mais ce coup la m'a 

The Princesses bewailed the fate of their sister 
quite as much as their mother. Princess Amelia 
declared that nothing on earth would have induced 
her to marry such a monster. Their lamentations 
were wasted. The Princess of Orange, to her 
credit be it said, determined to make the best of 
her husband, and she behaved towards him in a 
most dutiful manner, and made his interests her 

The Prince and Princess of Orange stayed in 
England for six weeks after their marriage, and 
the Prince bade fair to become a popular hero. For 
the time, he quite outshone the Prince of Wales 
as the idol of the hour. This was very noticeable 
at the theatre ; when the Prince of Wales came into 
the house he was received with but moderate 
applause, but the instant the Prince of Orange 
appeared the whole theatre rang with shouts and 
cheers. The King, too, noticed these signs of 
popular feeling and became jealous, and anxious 
to send his son-in-law back to Holland as soon as 
possible. The King was exceedingly unpopular, 
and the " Prince of Orange " was an ominous name 
in England to a royal father-in-law. The City of 
London, the University of Oxford, and many towns 
presented addresses on the occasion of the marriage 
of the Princess Royal, which, though couched in 
complimentary language, yet contained many covert 
sarcasms. They dwelt so much on the services 


rendered to England by a Prince who bore the 
name of Orange, and expressed so fervently the 
hope that this Prince might follow his great name- 
sake's example, that it almost seemed as if they 
wished him to depose his father-in-law, as William 
of Orange had deposed King James. The address 
of the City of London, for example, was thus para- 
phrased : 

Most gracious sire behold before you 
Your prostrate subjects that adore you 
The Mayor and citizens of London, 
By loss of trade and taxes undone, 
Who come with gratulations hearty 
Altho' they're of the Country Party, 
To wish your Majesty much cheer 
On Anna's marriage with Mynheer. 
Our hearts presage, from this alliance, 
The fairest hopes, the brightest triumphs ; 
For if one Revolution glorious 
Has made us wealthy and victorious. 
Another, by just consequence, 
Must double both our power and pence : 
We therefore hope that young Nassau, 
Whom you have chose your son-in-law, 
W T ill show himself of William's stock, 
And prove a chip of the same block. 

The King was exceedingly restive under these 
historical parallels, and became more and more 
anxious to speed the parting guest. Therefore, at 
the end of April the Prince and Princess of Orange 
embarked at Greenwich for Holland. The parting 
of the Princess with her family was most affecting 
except with her brother the Prince of Wales, who 
did not trouble to take leave of her at all. Her 
mother and sisters wept bitterly over her, the King 

" gave her a thousand kisses and a shower of tears, 
but not one guinea ". Yet, such is human nature, 
after a few weeks the Princess was as much forgotten 
at the English Court as though she had never existed. 

Another familiar figure disappeared from the 
Court a few months later (in November, 1734), 
namely, Lady Suffolk, better known as Mrs. 
Howard. She had often wished to resign her 
office, but her circumstances for one reason did not 
admit of her doing so, and /or another the Queen 
always persuaded her to remain, lest a younger and 
less amenable lady might take her place. The 
King, who had long since tired of her, resented this 
action on the part of the Queen. " I do not know," 
he said, " why you will not let me part with a deaf old 
woman of whom I am weary?" Mrs. Howard was 
weary too, and had come to loathe her bonds. But 
what brought matters to a crisis cannot be certainly 
stated, it was probably a combination of events. 

The year before, shortly after he succeeded to the 
earldom, Lord Suffolk died, and Lady Suffolk was 
left a widow, for which no doubt she was devoutly 
thankful. She was now free to marry again ; and if 
she did not she possessed a moderate competency, 
which would enable her to live in a position befitting 
her rank. Lady Suffolk was friendly with many 
members of the Opposition, including Bolingbroke, 
who was of all persons most disliked at court. It 
was said by her enemies that she had a political in- 
trigue with him, and had met him at Bath. Coxe tells 

a story which seems to show that the Queen was at 
VOL. n. 17 


the bottom of Lady Suffolk's retirement. " Lord 
Chesterfield," he says, "had requested the Queen 
to speak to the King for some trifling favour ; the 
Queen promised, but forgot it. A few days after- 
wards, recollecting her promise, she expressed 
regret at her forgetfulness, and added she would 
certainly mention it that very day. Chesterfield 
replied that her Majesty need not give herself that 
trouble, for Lady Suffolk had spoken to the King. 
The Queen made no reply, but on seeing the King 
told him she had long promised to mention a trifling 
request to his Majesty, but it was now needless, 
because Lord Chesterfield had just informed her 
that she had been anticipated by Lady Suffolk. 
The King, who always preserved great decorum 
with the Queen, and was very unwilling to have it 
supposed that the favourite interfered, was extremely 
displeased both with Lord Chesterfield and his 
mistress. The consequence was that in a short 
time Lady Suffolk went to Bath for her health, and 
returned no more to Court." 

It is possible that some such incident occurred, 
but it could not have been the immediate cause 
of Lady Suffolk's retirement, as she held office 
for more than a year after Lord Chesterfield was 
dismissed in consequence of voting against the 
excise. It is true she went to Bath, and probably 
met Bolingbroke there too, but it is unlikely 
that she had a political intrigue with him. On 
her return to court, the King seems first to have 
ignored her, and then to have insulted her publicly. 


This was the last straw, and Mrs. Howard deter- 
mined to resign at once. The Duke of Newcastle 
wrote to Walpole : "You will see by the news- 
papers that Lady Suffolk has left the Court. The 
particulars that I had from the Queen are, that last 
week she acquainted the Queen with her design, 
putting it upon the King's unkind usage of her. The 
Queen ordered her to stay a week, which she did, 
but last Monday had another audience, complained 
again of her unkind treatment from the King, was 
very civil to the Queen, and went that night to her 
brother's house in St. James's Square." * 

The Duke of Newcastle's statement is borne out 
by a curious manuscript, entitled " Memorandum 
of the conversation between Queen Caroline and 
Lady Suffolk, upon Lady Suffolk's retiring from 
her Majesty's service, 1734". 2 This memorandum 
was probably jotted down by Lady Suffolk soon 
after her interview with the Queen, and runs as 
follows : 

Lady Suffolk: " Madam, I believe your Majesty 
will think that I have more assurance than ever 
anybody had to stay so long in your family, after 
the public manner his Majesty has given me of his 
displeasure. But I hope, when I tell you that it 
occasioned my not waiting sooner upon your 
Majesty, you will not think it was owing to assur- 

1 The Duke of Newcastle to Sir Robert Walpole, i3th Novem- 
ber, 1734. 

This manuscript is preserved in the manuscript department of 
the British Museum. 


ance. I have always had, and I hope I have always 
shown, the greatest duty and attention for everything 
that relates to your Majesty, and I could not think 
it was proper, whilst you were so indisposed, to 
trouble you with anything relating to me, but I come 
now, Madam, to beg your leave to retire." 

The Queen: "You surprise me. What do you 
mean ? I do not believe the King is angry. When 
has he shown his displeasure ? Did I receive you 
as if you were under mine ? " 

Lady Suffolk: "No, madam. If your Majesty 
had treated me in the same manner as his Majesty 
did, I never could have had the assurance to appear 
again in your presence." 

The Queen : " Child, you dream. I saw the 
King speak to you ; I remember now." 

Lady Suffolk: " Yes, madam, and his words 
marked more strongly his displeasure than his 
silence, before and since." 

The Queen: "Tell me, has the King really 
never been down with you since your return ? " 

Lady Suffolk: "No, madam. Will your Ma- 
jesty give me leave to tell what has passed ? . . . " 1 

The Queen : " Upon my word I did not know 

Lady Suffolk: "I hope you take nothing ill of 
me ..." 

The Queen : " Come, my dear Lady Suffolk, you 
are very warm, but believe me I am your friend, 
your best friend. You do not know a court. It is 

1 A gap here. 


not proper of me to say this, but indeed you do not 
know a court." 

Lady Suffolk : "I am very sensible that I do 
not, and feel I do not ; I have had a most convinc- 
ing proof that I am ignorant. But I am afraid, 
madam, if I have not got knowledge in twenty 
years I never shall now." 

The Queen : " Why don't you talk to your 
friends ? I always do so. Indeed you cannot judge 
this for yourself." 

Lady Suffolk : " Madam, if twenty years' service 
has not been able to prevent me from falling a 
sacrifice to my enemies, would your Majesty have 
me, by calling in my friends, make them answerable 
for the measure I shall take, and involve them in 
my ruin ? " 

The Queen : " Child, your enemies want to get 
you out, and they will be the first to drop you. Oh ! 
my dear Lady Suffolk, you do not know, when you 
are out, how different people will behave." 

Lady Suffolk: "Madam, the first part of what 
your Majesty says I am very sure of, but really, 
madam, I do not understand the second part, and if 
some people may show me it was the courtier and 
not me that was liked, I cannot say that to keep 
such acquaintances will be any argument to me to 
stay at Court. Madam, such are better lost than 

The Queen: "You are very warm." 

Lady Suffolk : " Madam, I beg if, in talking to 
your Majesty, I say one word that does not mark 


the respect both to his and your Majesties, you will 
be pleased to tell me ; for, madam, I come fully 
determined to take my leave, with the same respect, 
submission and duty, as I have behaved for twenty 
years. Your Majesty has often told me that I have 
never failed in anything for your service in any of 
those places that you have honoured me with. 
Madam, I do not know how far your Majesty may 
think it respectful to make this declaration, but I 
beg that I may for a moment speak of the King 
only as a man that was my friend. He has been 
dearer to me than my own brother, so, madam, as a 
friend I feel resentment at being ill-treated, and 
sorry to have lost his friendship ; but as my King 
and my master I have the greatest submission to his 
pleasure, and wish I knew what I was accused of, 
for I know my innocence. But, madam, I know it 
must be some horrid crime." 

The Queen : " Oh ! fie ! you commit a crime ! 
Do not talk so." 

Lady Suffolk : " Madam, as I know his Majesty's 
goodness, his justice, his warmth of friendship, I 
know he could not for anything else punish me so 

The Queen : " I daresay that if you have a little 
patience the King will treat you as he does the 
other ladies. I suppose that would satisfy you." 

Lady Suffolk : "No, madam. Why, did you 
never see him show what you call ' respect ' to the 

Duchess of R and to Lady A ? Madam, 

I believe and I hope they are ladies of more merit 


than I, and possibly in every respect of greater 
consequence than I am ; but in this case is very 
different. They have not lived twenty years con- 
versing every day with his Majesty, nor had the 
same reason to think themselves honoured with his 
friendship as I have had till now ; nor has it been 
in his power to give the public so remarkable an 
instance of his displeasure of them. Consider, 
madam, I have been absent seven weeks, and 
returned sooner than was proper for my health to 
do my duty in my place to your Majesty, and to 
show my respect to his Majesty on his birthday." 

The Queen : " I heard that you were at the Bath, 
and that you did not design to come back ; but I did 
not mind such reports." 

Lady Suffolk : " I heard, too, madam, that I 
was not to come back, and that my business was 
done at Court. I knew, madam, that I had a 
mistress who had often told me that she was perfectly 
satisfied with my services. I felt I had a king, and 
master, and a friend, (whom I could not, nor ever will, 
suspect of injustice) who would not punish me with- 
out I was guilty, and I knew, madam, I had done 
nothing. But still these reports must now make me 
think his Majesty's public neglect could not escape 
any bystanders, and I know it was remarked, for my 
brother came on Thursday morning and asked if it 
were true that the King took no notice of me since 
I came from the Bath." 

The Queen : " Well, child, you know that the King 
leaves it to me. I will answer for it that all will be 


as well with you as with any of the ladies, and I am 
sure you can't leave my service then." 

Lady Suffolk: "Really, madam, I do not see 
how it is possible for me to continue in it. I have 
lost what is dearer to me than anything in the world. 
I am to be put upon the footing of the Duchess of 

R or Lady A , and so by the public thought 

to be forgiven of some very grave offence because I 
have been your servant twenty years. No, madam, 
I never will be forgiven an offence that I have not 

The Queen: "You won't be forgotten. This is 
indeed the G.L. (sic) why I am forgiven." 

Lady Suffolk: "Madam, your Majesty and I 
cannot be named together. It is a play of words for 
your Majesty, but it is a serious thing for me." 

The Queen: "Why, child, I am the King's sub- 
ject as well as you." 

Lady Suffolk: " Madam, what I mean is what I 
cannot make your Majesty understand unless you are 
pleased to lay aside the Queen and put yourself in 
my place for some moments. After twenty years to 
be ill-treated without knowing your crime, and then 
stay upon the foot of the Duchess of A - ! " 

The Queen : " Upon my word, Lady Suffolk, 
you do not consider what the world will say. For 
God's sake, consider your character. You leave me 
because the King will not be more particular to you 
than to others." 

Lady Suffolk : " Madam, as for my character, 
the world must have settled that long ago, whether 


just or unjust, but, madam, I think I have never 
been thought to betray his Majesty, or to have done 
any dishonest thing by any person whatever, and I 
defy my greatest enemies (your Majesty owns I have 
such) to prove anything against me, and I cannot 
and will not submit to anything that may make that 
believed of me." 

The Queen : " Oh ! fie ! Lady Suffolk, upon my 
word that is a very fine notion out of Celia, or some 
other romance." 

Lady Suffolk: "This may not be a very great 
principle, but I think it is a just one, and a proper 
one for me to have." 

The Queen : " I will send you down one. Come, 
you love figures. Let me persuade you two-thirds. 
Go down and think of this. There are people who 
want to get you out of Court ; they will be the first 
to drop you." 

Lady Suffolk: "Madam, I consult nobody in 
this ; there is no occasion." 

The Queen : " You cannot judge for yourself. 
Let me prevail. Put yourself in somebody's hands 
and let them act for you. Indeed you are so warm 
you are not fit to act for yourself." {Repeated the 
same as I said before.} "Nor indeed very respectful. 
But you will repent it. I cannot give you leave 
to go." 

Lady Suffolk : "If anybody could feel as I feel, 
and could be so entirely innocent as to let me be 
the only sufferer for the advice they give, I might 
follow the method your Majesty proposes, but as 


that is impossible, I must beg leave to act for 
myself. I wish I might know what I am accused 
of. In my absence I have been ruined in his 
Majesty's favour. At the Bath I have a thousand 
witnesses of my behaviour. I know my own inno- 
cence. Nobody dare tell me that to my knowledge 
I have ever failed in my duty in any manner." 

The Queen : " You are very G. L. (sic). Not 
dare to tell you you have been guilty ! " 

Lady Suffolk : " No, madam, for the Princess and 

the duke could justify my behaviour, Lord and 

many more ; what I meant was as regards to my- 
self. But I cannot think that any wretch is so 

abandoned to all shame as to stand having the 

(pardon the word) before such a number as was 

The Queen : " Pray how did you live at the 

(Here I told all. Who B. denied, and what 
happened to Lord B. No parties distinguishable 
to me.) 

The Queen : " Lady Suffolk, pray consider, be 

Lady Suffolk: " Madam, I beg your Majesty 
will give me permission to retire. Indeed I have 
not slept since I came back to your house, and 
believe I never shall under this suspicion of guilt. 
Madam, will you give me leave to speak ? " 

The Queen : " Do." 

Lady Suffolk: "I am here by your Majesty's 
command. Your Majesty should look upon me when 


I assert my innocence. Your Majesty knows what 
I am accused of." 

The Queen: "Oh! oh! Lady Suffolk, you want 
to get it out of me." 

Lady Suffolk: "Madam, I do want to face 
the accusation ; I am not afraid ; I know it would 
be to the confusion of my accusers." 

The Queen : "I will not give you leave to go, 
I tell you plainly. If you go to-day you go without 
my consent." 

Lady Suffolk : " Madam, I beg you to think of 
my unhappy situation. I own after what passed, 
that the next time I saw his Majesty, I should have 
dropped down if I had not gone out." 

The Queen : " Well, Lady Suffolk, will you 
refuse me this ? Stay a week longer, won't you ; 
stay this week at my request." 

Lady Suffolk: "Yes, madam, I will obey you, 
but as I am under his Majesty's displeasure, your 
Majesty will not expect my attendance, or that I 
come again to receive your commands." 

The Queen: "Yes, I do, and I will see you 
again, because you will come again." 

Lady Suffolk: " I will obey your Majesty." 

The Queen : " Harkee, Lady Suffolk, you will 
come up as you used to do." 

Lady Suffolk stayed her week and then, despite 
the arguments of the Queen, she resigned her 
appointment, and left the court for ever. She was 
forty-eight years of age, and had fairly earned 
her retirement. She was not of a nature to live 


long alone, and the following year she married George 
Berkeley, fourth son of Charles, second Earl of 
Berkeley, a man not distinguished for fortune or 
good looks, but who, nevertheless, made her a 
very good husband. The King was in Hanover 
when he heard of Lady Suffolk's marriage, and had 
already given her a successor. He received the 
news very philosophically, and wrote to the Queen : 

" J'^tois extremement surpris de la disposition 
que vous m'avez mand6 que ma vieille maitresse a 
fait de son corps en mariage a ce vieux goutteux 
George Berkeley, et je m'en rejouis fort. Je ne 
voudrois pas faire de tels pr^sens a mes amis ; et 
quand mes ennemis me volent, plut a Dieu que ce 
soit toujours de cette fa^on." 

The King probably called Berkeley his enemy 
because he was a member of the Opposition. Ber- 
keley died a few years after his marriage with Lady 
Suffolk, but she survived him for more than twenty 
years. She lived, in dignified retirement, at her 
villa at Marble Hill, and retained, until the end of 
her life, the charm of manner and amiability, which 
had won her many friends. Horace Walpole used 
to visit her in her old age, and gleaned from 
her much material for his famous Memoirs. She 
died in 1767, in her eightieth year, having survived 
George the Second seven years. 




THE Court and the Government acquired some little 
popularity over the marriage of the Princess Royal, 
but it soon vanished before the fierce assaults 
of the Opposition (or Patriots, as they called them- 
selves) in Parliament. The first session of 1734 
was the last session under the Septennial Act, and 
the Patriots strained every nerve to discredit the 
Government with the country. A determined effort 
was made to repeal the Septennial Act and revive 
triennial parliaments. This had always been a 
favourite scheme of Wyndham and the Tories, 
though Pulteney, the leader of the Patriots, had in 
1716 voted for the Septennial Act. But Boling- 
broke's influence compelled Pulteney to eat his 
words though he sacrificed his political consistency 
in doing so. The debate in the House of Commons 
on the repeal of the Septennial Act was almost as 
exciting as the debates on the excise, and, if possible, 
a higher level of eloquence was maintained. Pul- 
teney's speech, as was natural under the circum- 
stances, was brief and embarrassed, but Wyndham 


surpassed himself and would have carried off the 
honours of the debate had it not been for Wai- 
pole's great speech in reply. Walpole, stung out 
of his usual indifference by the taunts levelled at 
him in the Craftsman, and knowing whose hand 
had penned those scathing words and whose master 
mind had organised this attack, launched against 
Bolingbroke, under the name of an "anti-minister," 
a tremendous philippic. After sketching the " anti- 
minister" in no covert terms he continued: 

" Suppose this fine gentleman lucky enough to 
have gained over to his party some persons of really 
fine parts, of ancient families and of great fortunes ; 
and others of desperate views, arising from disap- 
pointed and malicious hearts ; all these gentlemen, 
with respect to their political behaviour, moved by 
him, and by him solely, all they say, in public or 
in private, being only a repetition of the words he 
has put into their mouths and a spitting out of that 
venom he has infused in them ; and yet we may 
suppose this leader not really liked by any, even of 
those who so blindly follow him, and hated by all 
the rest of mankind. We will suppose this anti- 
minister to be in a country where he really ought 
not to be, and where he could not have been but by 
the effect of too much goodness and mercy, yet en- 
deavouring with all his might, and all his art, to 
destroy the fountain whence that mercy flowed. 
. . . Let us further suppose this anti-minister to 
have travelled, and at every Court where he was, 
thinking himself the greatest minister, and making 


it his trade to reveal the secrets of every Court he 
had before been at, void of all faith and honour, and 
betraying every master he ever served." 

Walpole's outburst was undoubtedly provoked 
by Bolingbroke, but it was none the less cowardly 
thus to attack a man who could not answer him. 
It was Walpole who had prevented Bolingbroke 
from fighting openly, who had shut him out from 
the Senate, and thus forced him to employ any 
weapons that came to his hand. Yet even now he 
feared his power. A large minority supported the 
repeal of the Septennial Act, and in the general 
election that followed, though Walpole employed 
every means to corrupt the constituencies and spent 
no less than ,60,000 of his own private fortune be- 
sides, the Government majority was largely reduced. 
Still Walpole won and it is difficult to see how he 
could have done otherwise considering the resources 
at his command. The Queen took the keenest 
interest in the struggle, and her joy at the result 
showed how keen had been her apprehensions. 
" On the whole," wrote Newcastle soon after the 
general election, " our Parliament is, I think, a good 
one, but by no means such a one as the Queen and 
Sir Robert imagine." l 

But the Patriots, who had indulged in high hopes 
over the result of this appeal to the country, were 
frankly disappointed. They were further discour- 
aged by the resolution of Bolingbroke to leave 
England for a time a resolution which was ascribed 

1 Duke of Newcastle to Horace Walpole, 24th May, 1734. 


to different causes. Some said that money matters 
had to do with it, others that it was due to differences 
between Bolingbroke and Pulteney, or to the retire- 
ment of Lady Suffolk from court, or, most unlikely 
reason of all, to Walpole's denunciation of him in 
the House of Commons. The probable reason was 
that Bolingbroke owned himself beaten, and threw 
up the cards. He had led his hosts within sight 
of victory with consummate skill, but victory was 
denied him. Walpole had a new lease of power for 
seven years, and who could tell what seven years 
would bring ? There was nothing more to be done. 
So Bolingbroke retired to his beautiful chateau of 
Chanteloup in Touraine for a while, and devoted 
himself to literature. " My part is over," he wrote 
to Wyndham, "and he who remains on the stage 
after his part is over deserves to be hissed off." 1 

The King and Queen, no less than the Govern- 
ment, rejoiced over Bolingbroke's departure, but their 
rejoicings were premature, for he had left his sting 
behind him. The Prince of Wales was deeply grieved 
at the loss of his political mentor. Before leaving 
Bolingbroke had given him a piece of advice to 
bring his grievances formally before the House of 
Commons, and ask that the ,100,000 a year voted 
for him should be settled on him by Parliament. 
Bolingbroke could not have advised anything 
more calculated to embarrass the court and the 
Government, as he knew full well. If the Prince 
carried out his advice he would make the Govern- 

1 Bolingbroke to Wyndham, 2gth November, 1735. 


ment unpopular, by forcing them to appear opposed 
to a popular demand ; he would compel those poli- 
ticians who hitherto had sat on the fence to declare 
themselves definitely in favour of either father or 
son, and he would drag the differences of the Royal 
Family into the light of day, and do grievous harm 
to the dynasty. The Prince was ready to act 
upon Bolingbroke's advice, but his more cautious 
friends, like Doddington, dissuaded him, and he 
did not know how to proceed alone. But he threat- 
ened to do so, and the mere threat sufficed to 
throw the King and Queen into an extraordinary 
state of agitation. The Queen still retained some 
little influence over her son, the relations between 
them had not yet been strained to breaking point ; 
her influence over her husband was boundless, 
and she was able, by preaching at the one and 
pleading with the other, to avert the threatened 
crisis. She assured the Prince that if he carried 
matters to extremities he would gain nothing, and 
she besought the King not to drive the Prince to 
extreme measures. The King, therefore, on the 
principle of buying off his Danes, reluctantly made 
over a certain sum, which sufficed for the Prince's 
immediate necessities, and the crisis was for the 
moment averted. But it was only for the moment. 

This year (1735) the King paid his triennial 
visit to Hanover. He appointed the Queen to act 
as Regent as before, a step which gave great 
umbrage to the Prince of Wales, who on this occa- 
sion did not trouble to disguise his feelings, and for 

VOL. n. 1 8 


the first time showed open disrespect to his mother's 

On this visit of the King to Hanover he began 
his liaison with Amelia Sophia de Walmoden, the 
wife of Baron de Walmoden, a Hanoverian. This 
lady's youthful charms soon made him forget the 
retirement of Lady Suffolk, and her influence over 
him quickly became greater than Lady Suffolk's had 
ever been. The new mistress had a good deal of 
beauty, and considerable powers of fascination ; 
she flattered the King to the top of his bent, and 
made him believe he was the only man she had ever 
loved, or ever could love, in spite of the fact that 
she had one, if not two, other intrigues going on 
at the same time. She was cautious, and avoided 
making enemies by not trespassing in matters out- 
side her province. 

The Queen in England was soon made aware 
that there was some disturbing influence at work. 
The King's letters to her became shorter, and he 
usurped at Hanover some of the prerogatives which 
belonged to her as Regent, such as signing com- 
missions, and so forth. He also, through his 
minister in attendance, Lord Harrington, cavilled 
at many of the acts of the Queen- Regent, a thing 
he had never done before. In this perhaps Har- 
rington's jealousy of Walpole had some share. 
Harrington knew that, by embarrassing the Queen, 
he also embarrassed her chief adviser. Therefore, 
between the jealousy of her son at home and 
the irritability of her husband abroad, Caroline's 


third Regency was anything but a pleasant one. 
But she suffered no word of complaint to escape 
her lips, and pursued her usual policy of trying to 
increase the popularity of the Crown and strengthen 
the hands of Walpole and the Government. She 
was afraid to keep up much state, lest the King in 
his present mood should be jealous, so she removed 
the court to Kensington, where she lived very 
quietly, holding only such drawing-rooms as were 
absolutely necessary. These she held rather from 
policy than from pleasure, her object being to con- 
ciliate the powerful Whig peers who were still 
dissatisfied with the Government. 

The Queen found interest and relaxation in 
improving her house and gardens at Richmond. 
In addition to a dairy and menagerie, which she 
had established in the park, she erected several 
buildings, more or less ornamental, in the gardens, 
of which the most peculiar was the one known as 
"Merlin's Cave". This extraordinary edifice was 
approached through a maze of close alleys and 
clipped hedges. The Craftsman ridiculed it, and 
declared that it looked like "an old haystack 
thatched over". A gloomy passage led to a large 
circular room, decorated with several allegorical 
figures, of which we glean the following account : 

"The figures her Majesty has ordered for 
Merlin's Cave are placed therein, namely: (i) 
Merlin at a table with conjuring books and mathe- 
matical instruments, taken from the face of Mr. 
Ernest, page to the Prince of Wales ; (2) King 


Henry the Seventh's Queen, and (3) Queen Eliza- 
beth, who came to Merlin for knowledge ; the former 
from the face of Mrs. Margaret Purcell, the latter from 
Miss Paget's ; (4) Minerva, from Mrs. Poyntz's ; (5) 
Merlin's secretary, from Mr. Kemp's, one of his 
Royal Highness the Duke's grenadiers ; and (6) a 
witch, from a tradesman's wife at Richmond. Her 
Majesty has ordered also a choice collection of 
English books to be placed therein." l 

The people were much interested in Merlin's 
Cave, and as soon as it was finished the Queen 
threw it open to the public on certain days, and 
crowds applied for admission. Similar imitations of 
this pleasure house sprang* up all over the country, 
despite its doubtful taste. So pleased was the 
Queen with the cave that she erected another house 
hard by, and called it "The Hermitage". It was 
built to resemble a rude building overgrown with 
moss, and was entered, incongruously, by an 
enormous gilt gateway. Merlin's Cave, the Her- 
mitage, and the improvements in the house and 
gardens at Richmond were expensive luxuries, so 
expensive that the Queen was unable to pay for 
them out of her income. But Walpole humoured 
her in these hobbies, and made her several little 
grants from the Treasury, of which no one was 
the wiser. 

In October the time arrived for the King to tear 
himself away from Hanover and his Walmoden. It 
was necessary for him to be back in London by 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, 2ist August, 1735. 


October 3oth to keep his birthday. He delayed 
until he could delay no longer, and, when he had at 
last to tear himself away, he promised his mistress 
that under any circumstances he would be with her 
next year by May 29th. The Walmoden, between 
smiles and tears, publicly pledged her royal lover a 
happy return on May 29th, at a farewell banquet 
the night before his departure. It was a rash pro- 
mise for the King to make, for he had hitherto only 
visited Hanover once in three years ; and even so, 
not without protest from his English advisers. 

George the Second set out from Hanover 
on Wednesday, October 22nd, and arrived at 
Kensington the following Sunday. The Queen, 
who had long been expecting him, received the 
news. just after she returned from morning chapel. 
She at once summoned her court, and went on foot 
to meet him at the great gate. When the King 
stepped out of his coach she stooped and kissed 
his hand, and he gave her his arm and led her 
into the palace. It was only on the occasion of 
a return from Hanover that the King offered the 
Queen his arm ; he probably did so in consideration 
of her holding the office of Regent, which she had 
not yet resigned into his hands. The King held a 
small reception immediately after his arrival, but 
the Queen, who saw that he was ill, soon dismissed 
the company. The King had in fact tired him- 
self by travelling too fast, and for the next few days 
he was exceedingly unwell ; he was also exceed- 
ingly irritable, and every one who came near him, 


from the Queen downwards, incurred his wrath. 
He loudly lamented his beloved Hanover and 
abused England. "No English or even French 
cook could dress a dinner ; no English confectioner 
set out a dessert ; no English player could act ; no 
English coachman could drive or English jockey 
ride, nor were any English horses fit to be drove or 
fit to be ridden ; no Englishman knew how to come 
into a room, nor any English woman how to dress 
herself." l All this and much more from the King of 
England ! 

The Queen had to bear the brunt of his ill- 
humour, and, what was worse, had to endure the 
fear that her influence over him was on the wane. 
His manner towards her had completely changed ; 
nothing she could say, or do, was right, in little 
things or great. Among other trifles he noticed 
that the Queen had taken some bad pictures out 
of one of the rooms at Kensington, and replaced 
them by good ones. The King, who knew nothing 
of art, and cared less, for the mere sake of finding 
fault, made this a pretext for thwarting his wife. 
He peremptorily ordered Lord Hervey to have the 
new pictures taken away and the old ones replaced. 
This was impossible, for some of the pictures had 
been destroyed and others sent to Windsor. But 
Lord Hervey did not dare tell the King so ; he 
demurred a little and asked the King if he would 
allow two Vandykes at least to remain, to which 
George answered : "I suppose you assisted the 

1 Hervey's Memoirs. 


Queen with your fine advice when she was pulling 
my house to pieces and spoiling all my furniture : 
thank God, at least she has left the walls standing ! 
As for the Vandykes, I do not care whether they 
are changed or no, but for the picture with the dirty 
frame over the door, and the three nasty little chil- 
dren, I will have them taken away and the old ones 
restored ; I will have it done too to-morrow morning 
before I go to London, or else I know it will not be 
done at all." " Would your Majesty," said Lord 
Hervey, " have the gigantic fat Venus restored 
too?" "Yes, my lord; I am not so nice as your 
lordship. I like my fat Venus much better than 
anything you have given me instead of her." 

Lord Hervey says that he thought that " if his 
Majesty had liked his fat Venus as well as he used 
to do, there would have been none of these disputa- 
tions ". He told the Queen next morning what had 
passed. She pretended to laugh but was evidently 
annoyed, and began to wonder how she could obey 
the King's commands. "Whilst they were speaking 
the King came in, but by good luck, said not one 
word of the pictures : his Majesty stayed about five 
minutes in the gallery ; snubbed the Queen, who 
was drinking chocolate, for being always stuffing ; 
the Princess Emily for not hearing him ; Princess 
Caroline for being grown fat ; the Duke [of Cumber- 
land] for standing awkwardly ; Lord Hervey for 
not knowing what relation the Prince of Sultzbach 
was to the Elector Palatine : and then carried the 
Queen to walk, and be resnubbed, in the garden." 


The Queen was very much perturbed by the 
King's altered behaviour towards her, and she took 
Sir Robert Walpole into her confidence, and asked 
him what was to be done. Walpole spoke to her 
with a frankness positively brutal. He told her 
that since the King had tasted " better things," 
presumably the Walmoden, it could not be other 
than it was ; he reminded the Queen that she was 
no longer young, and said that "she should no 
longer depend upon her person, but her head, for 
her influence, as the one would now be of little use 
to her, and the other could never fail her." No 
woman likes to be told that her personal charms 
are gone, and Walpole made this advice the more 
unpalatable by recommending the Queen to send 
for Lady Tankerville, a good looking but stupid 
woman, to fill the place left vacant by Lady Suffolk. 
He told the Queen that it was absolutely necessary 
that the King should have some one to amuse him, 
"as he could not spend his evenings with his own 
daughters after having tasted the sweets of passing 
them with other people's " ; therefore, it would be 
much better that he should have some one chosen 
by the Queen than by himself. Lady Deloraine, 
who was the other likely candidate for the royal 
favour, and whom the King had often noticed 
when she was governess to the young Princesses, 
Walpole regarded as a dangerous woman, and 
therefore preferred Lady Tankerville. 

The Queen resented this advice in her heart, 
and was deeply hurt ; but on the surface she took 


it well enough, laughing the matter off as was her 
wont. She was not above making some bitter 
jokes upon the situation in which she found herself. 
When she was dressed for the King's birthday 
drawing-room, she pointed to her head-dress and 
said : "I think I am extremely fine too, though un 
peu a la mode ; I think they have given me horns." 
Whereupon Walpole burst into a coarse laugh, and 
said he thought the tire-woman must be a wag. 
The Queen laughed too, but flushed angrily. 

At this same birthday drawing-room the King 
noticed that it was poorly attended, and those who 
came were indifferently dressed, a sure sign of his 
unpopularity. The King, unpopular before, had 
disgusted his English subjects by his long stay in 
Hanover, and by the new ties he had formed there, 
for the people had had enough of German mistresses 
under George the First. Many of the great noble- 
men, even the officers of state, showed their 
resentment in a diplomatic manner by absenting 
themselves from court and retiring into the country. 
This made the King angrier than ever, and his 
manner towards the Queen, who was the only person 
upon whom it was safe for him to vent his displeasure, 
became harsher than before. She bore it uncom- 
plainingly, until one morning when he was unreason- 
able beyond endurance she said half in jest, though 
with tears in her eyes, that she would get Walpole 
to put in a word in her favour, as nothing she now 
did was right. The King flew into a passion, and 
asked her what she meant by such complaints. " Do 


you think," he said, " I should not feel and show 
some uneasiness for having left a place where I was 
pleased and happy all day long, and being come to 
one where I am as incessantly crossed and plagued?" 
This was a little too much for the Queen, who for 
once lost her self-control and turned upon her tor- 
mentor. "I see no reason," she said, "that made 
your coming to England necessary; you might have 
continued there, without coming to torment yourself 
and us : since your pleasure did not call you, I am 
sure your business did not, for we could have done 
that just as well without you, as you could have 
pleased yourself without us." Thereupon the King, 
who was as much astonished as Balaam was when 
his ass spake, went out of the room, and banged 
the door. 

The King endeavoured to propitiate the Queen 
by making her a present of some horses from 
Hanover. This was a poor sort of gift, as by 
it he charged the expense of the horses on her 
establishment, and used them himself; most of his 
presents were of this nature. As she did not accept 
the gift with becoming gratitude, he fell foul of 
Merlin's Cave, which had just been completed. 
The Queen told him that she heard the Craftsman 
had abused her hobby. " I am very glad of it," 
said the King, "you deserve to be abused for such 
childish silly stuff, and it is the first time I ever 
knew the scoundrel in the right." This conversation 
took place in the evening, when the King was 
always peculiarly irascible. He formerly spent two 


or three hours of an evening in Lady Suffolk's 
apartments, snubbing and worrying her, but since 
that lady had retired, and no one as yet was found 
to take her place, he had perforce to spend it with 
his wife and daughters, and vent his ill-humour on 
them. The same evening that he abused Merlin's 
Cave, he found fault with the Queen for giving 
away money to servants when she went to visit the 
nobility in London. The Queen defended herself 
by saying that it was the custom, and appealed to 
Lord Hervey, who said it was true that such largess 
was expected of her Majesty. The King retorted : 
"Then she may stay at home as I do. You do not 
see me running into every puppy's house, to see his 
new chairs and stools. Nor is it for you" said he, 
turning to the Queen, "to be running your nose 
everywhere, and trotting about the town to every 
fellow that will give you some bread and butter, 
like an old girl that loves to go abroad, no matter 
whether it be proper or no." The Queen, who was 
knotting, flushed, and tears came into her eyes, but 
she answered nothing. Lord Hervey somewhat 
officiously said that the Queen had a love of 
pictures, whereat the King turned to the Queen 
and poured forth a flood of abuse in German. She 
made no reply, but knotted faster than ever until 
she tangled her thread and snuffed out one of the 
candles in her agitation, whereupon the King, 
falling back into English, began to lecture her 
on her awkwardness. This may be taken as a 
specimen of the way the Royal Family spent their 


evenings for some weeks after the King's return 
from Hanover. 

From a hundred little things, the Queen feared 
that her day was over. The King always used to stay 
with her till eleven o'clock in the morning, before 
beginning the business of the day ; but now he 
hurried off soon after nine o'clock, in order that he 
might write love letters to Madame de Walmoden. 
He was a great letter-writer, especially of love 
letters, an art in which he excelled, and probably 
inherited from his mother, Sophie Dorothea. 

The only matter in which the King seemed to 
be at one with his consort, at this time, was in 
blaming the Prince of Wales, who took the occasion 
of his father's return to renew his demands. He 
had for a long time absented himself from the King's 
levies, but he was prevailed upon by Doddington 
to appear at one. His appearance, as the King 
suspected, foreshadowed a definite demand, which 
was not long in coming. The Prince requested 
that he should have his full income of ,100,000 a 
year, a separate establishment, and be married. It 
was no use ignoring Frederick, he only became 
more troublesome, so the King determined to yield 
the point, which would cost him least money, and 
get him married at once. He sent his son a formal 
message, by five of the Cabinet Council, to say that, 
if the Prince liked, he would ask for him the hand 
of the Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. She was 
the daughter of the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, and the 
King had met her, as if by accident, on his last visit 



to Hanover, with a view to seeing if she would be 
a suitable wife for his son. It was not a gracious 
way of meeting the Prince's wishes, but Frederick 
answered with great propriety, that whoever his 
Majesty thought a proper match for his son would 
be agreeable to him. One of the most irritating 
features of the Prince's conduct was that he was 
always polite and circumspect to the King and 
Queen in public, and disrespectful and disobedient 
in private. He followed up his answer by ask- 
ing how much money he was to get. When the 
King, reluctantly, promised to disgorge ,50,000 a 
year, the Prince expressed great dissatisfaction, but, 
on the principle of half a loaf being better than no 
bread, he determined to accept the sum as an instal- 
ment, and let the marriage go forward. 

Lord Delaware was therefore despatched to 
Saxe-Gotha to complete the negotiations which had 
been already set on foot, and bring the bride over 
to England. These negotiations took some little 
time, and the young Princess naturally wished to 
pay her farewells before setting forth to an unknown 
husband and an unknown land ; but the King was 
so impatient to return to his Walmoden that after a 
week or two he sent word to Delaware to say that 
if the Princess could not come by the end of April 
the marriage must either be put off till the next 
winter, or solemnised without him, as to Hanover 
he would go. This message had the effect of 
hastening matters. The Princess Augusta landed 
at Greenwich on Sunday, April 25th, 1735, and 


stayed the night at the palace there. She had the 
promise of beauty and the charm that always goes 
with youth. At this time she looked, as she was, 
an overgrown girl, tall and slender, and somewhat 
awkward in her movements, but her pleasant expres- 
sion and engaging manner soon won her popularity. 
The poets in their odes of welcome endowed the 
youthful pair with all the graces, as for example : 

That pair in Eden ne'er reposed 
Where groves more lovely grew ; 

Those groves in Eden ne'er enclosed 
A lovelier pair than you. 

The Prince of Wales went down to Greenwich 
to meet his bride-elect, and was much pleased with 
her. The next day she showed herself to the people 
on the balcony of the palace, and was warmly 
received. The young Princess was only seventeen 
years of age ; she was quite alone, unaccompanied 
by any relative, and could not speak a word of 
English. Yet she was allowed to remain at Green- 
wich forty-eight hours after her landing in England 
without any one of the Royal Family going near her 
except the Prince. She was treated with the same 
neglect as the Prince of Orange had been treated. 
The excuse put forward on behalf of the King and 
Queen was that until she was Princess of Wales 
there was no rule of precedence to guide them as to 
how she should be received. They were no doubt 
jealous of the pretensions which the Prince of Wales 
put forward ; but in any case, even if they could not 
have gone themselves to welcome her, they might 


have sent one of the Princesses to befriend the 
young and inexperienced girl in what must neces- 
sarily have been a difficult and delicate position. 
The Prince endeavoured to make amends for this 
neglect by paying his betrothed great attention. He 
came to Greenwich again the next day and dined 
with his future bride. "He afterwards," we are told, 
" gave her Highness the diversion of passing on the 
water as far as the Tower and back in his barge, 
finely adorned, preceded by a concert of music. 
Their Highnesses afterwards supped in public." 1 

The next morning the Princess was escorted 
from Greenwich in one of the royal coaches to 
Lambeth, and thence she proceeded down the river 
to Whitehall in a barge. At Whitehall she landed, 
and was carried through St. James's Park in a sedan 
chair to the garden entrance of St. James's Palace, 
where the Prince of Wales, who had preceded her, 
was waiting. The Prince led his betrothed up to 
the great drawing-room, where the King and Queen 
and all the court were ready to receive her, and 
curious to see what she was like. The King had 
been waiting more than an hour, for the Princess 
was late, and he was consequently impatient, and 
not in the best of tempers, but the young girl by 
her tact overcame any awkwardness that might 
have attended her reception. She prostrated her- 
self at the King's feet, and made a similar obei- 
sance to the Queen. Her behaviour throughout this 
trying ceremony was marked by such propriety and 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1736. 


discretion, that she immediately created a favourable 
impression, and did away with any prejudice against 

The Princess was not allowed much time to rest 
after her journey, for the marriage was arranged to 
take place that night, at nine o'clock in the Chapel 
Royal, St. James's. Before the ceremony the King 
and Queen, to avoid vexed questions of precedence, 
dined in private, but the Duke of Cumberland 
and the Princesses were commanded to dine with 
the Prince and his betrothed. Unfortunately the 
harmony of this family party was marred by quarrels 
over minute questions of ceremony. The King, 
with a view to overcoming any difficulties, had 
ordered the Duke and the Princesses to go " un- 
dressed," that is, informally, and in other clothes 
than those they were to wear later at the wedding. 
The Prince resented this as a slight upon himself 
and his bride, and in return began disputing as to 
where, and how, his brother and sisters should sit at 
dinner. He demanded that they should be seated 
upon stools without any backs, whilst he and 
his bride occupied armchairs at the head of the 
table ; also that he and his bride should be served 
on bended knee, while the others should be waited 
upon in the ordinary manner. The King and 
Queen had anticipated some of those difficulties, and 
had coached the Princesses beforehand in what they 
were to do. So they flatly refused to go into the 
room where dinner was served until the stools had 
been carried away and chairs put in their places, 


but they so far yielded the other point as to order 
their personal servants to wait upon them in the 
usual manner. Thus the wedding dinner passed 
off, if not exactly harmoniously, without any more 
childish disputes, though the Princesses went with- 
out their coffee as it was offered to them by a ser- 
vant of the bride. The dinner, and the altercations 
in connection with it, occupied the best part of the 
afternoon, and the bride had scarcely time to dress 
for the wedding. 

The wedding procession was formed at eight 
o'clock, and it took some time to marshal. The 
peers and peeresses, and other personages invited to 
the wedding, met in the great drawing-room of St. 
James's, and then walked in order of precedence to 
the chapel. The Bishop of London performed the 
marriage ceremony, and the joining of hands was 
made known to the public by the firing of guns in 
St. James's Park. The following extract from a 
contemporary print gives the best account of the 
ceremony : 

" Her Highness was in her hair, wearing a crown 
with one bar, as Princess of Wales, set all over with 
diamonds ; her robe likewise, as Princess of Wales, 
being of crimson velvet, turned back with several 
rows of ermine, and having her train supported by 
four ladies, all of whom were in virgin habits of 
silver, like the Princess, and adorned with diamonds 
not less in value than from twenty to thirty thousand 
pounds each. Her Highness was led by his Royal 

Highness the Duke of Cumberland, and conducted 
VOL. ii. 19 


by His Grace the Duke of Grafton, Lord Chamber- 
lain of the Household, and the Lord Hervey, Vice- 
Chamberlain, and attended by the Countess of 
Effingham, and the other ladies of her household. 
The marriage service was read by the Lord Bishop 
of London, Dean of the Chapel ; and, after the same 
was over, a fine anthem was performed by a great 
number of voices and instruments. When the pro- 
cession returned, his Royal Highness led his bride ; 
and coming into the drawing-room, their Royal High- 
nesses kneeled down and received their Majesties' 
blessing. At half-an-hour after ten their Majesties 
sat down to supper in ambigu, the Prince and the 
Duke being on the King's right hand, and the 
Princess of Wales and the four Princesses on the 
Queen's left. Their Majesties retiring to the apart- 
ments of the Prince of Wales, the bride was 
conducted to her bedchamber, the bridegroom 
to his dressing-room, where the Duke undressed 
him, and his Majesty did his Royal Highness 
the honour to put on his shirt. The bride was 
undressed by the Princesses, and, being in bed in 
a rich undress, his Majesty came into the room, 
the Prince following soon after in a night-gown of 
silver stuff, and cap of the finest lace. The Quality 
were admitted to see the bride and bridegroom 
sitting up in bed surrounded by all the Royal 
Family." 1 

The King had grumbled because there were few 
new clothes at his birthday drawing-room, but no 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1736. 


such complaint could be made on this occasion, for 
the splendour and richness of the costumes had 
never been excelled. The Georgian beau was a 
gorgeous being ; the men seemed to outshine the 
ladies. We read : 

"His Majesty was dressed in a gold brocade, 
turned up with silk, embroidered with large flowers 
in silver and colours, as was the waistcoat ; the 
buttons and stars were diamonds. Her Majesty 
was in plain yellow silk, robed and faced with pearls, 
diamonds, and other jewels of immense value. The 
Dukes of Grafton, Newcastle, and St. Albans, the 
Earl of Albemarle, Lord Hervey, Colonel Pelham 
and many other noblemen, were in gold brocades 
of from three to five hundred pounds a suit. The 
Duke of Marlborough was in a white velvet and 
gold brocade, upon which was an exceedingly rich 
point cCEspagne. The Earl of Euston and many 
others were in clothes flowered or sprigged with 
gold ; the Duke of Montagu in a gold brocaded 
tissue. The waistcoats were universally brocades, 
with large flowers. 'Twas observed most of the 
rich clothes were the manufacture of England, and 
in honour of our own artists. The few which were 
French did not come up to these in richness, good- 
ness, or fancy, as was seen by the clothes worn by 
the Royal Family, which were all of the British 
manufacture. The cuffs of the sleeves were 
universally deep and open, the waists long, and 
the plaits more sticking out than ever. The ladies 
were principally in brocades of gold and silver, and 


wore their sleeves much lower than hath been done 
for some time." l 

After her marriage the Princess of Wales main- 
tained the favourable impression she created at 
first, a notable feat considering that she had been 
brought up in the seclusion of her mother's country 
house in Saxe-Gotha, and had come to a Court 
far more splendid than any she could have ever 
dreamed of. Walpole, who noted how she had won 
the King's approval and gained the Prince's esteem, 
declared that these "were circumstances that spoke 
strongly in favour of brains which had but seventeen 
years to ripen ". Lord Waldegrave testified that 
the Princess distinguished herself " by a most decent 
and prudent behaviour, and the King, notwith- 
standing his aversion to his son, behaved to her 
not only with great politeness, but with the appear- 
ance of cordiality and affection ". Even old Sarah, 
Duchess of Marlborough, who hated Queen Caroline, 
and generally had a bad word to say for every one, 
relented in favour of the Princess, declaring that 
she " always appeared good-natured and civil to 
everybody". The Princess's subsequent conduct 
justified these praises, and she showed herself as 
the years went by to be a clever woman, with 
considerable force of character. 

At first her position was exceedingly difficult in 
consequence of the strained relations between the 
Prince and his parents. She necessarily saw more 
of the Queen than of the King, and though the 

1 Gentleman's Magazine, April, 1736. 


Queen's kindness to her never wavered, there was 
always a barrier of reserve between them, for the 
Prince had now come to dislike his mother even 
more than his father. Just before his marriage the 
Queen had had a difference with her son over the 
question whether Lady Archibald Hamilton was, or 
was not, to be one of the ladies in waiting to the 
Princess ; the Prince wishing her to be appointed, 
and the Queen declaring that it was not proper 
that the Prince's mistress should be one of his 
wife's household. She was undoubtedly right, but 
the Prince might have retorted, and he probably 
did, that he was only following precedent, since 
Lady Suffolk had filled a similar position in the 
household of his parents. The matter was com- 
promised by only three ladies in waiting being 
appointed by the Queen, and the Princess was left 
free to nominate one other when she arrived. The 
Prince gained such an ascendency over his wife 
that the first thing she did was to appoint Lady 
Archibald Hamilton, who soon became her constant 
companion. Lady Archibald was not a wise adviser 
to the young Princess even in minor matters, or 
perhaps she deliberately set about to make her look 
ridiculous. The Princess was quite ignorant of the 
customs of the English Court, and was imbued by 
her husband with a strong sense of what was due 
to her as Princess of Wales. Either at his bidding 
or Lady Archibald's suggestion, she took to walking 
in Kensington Gardens with two gentlemen-ushers 
going before her, a chamberlain leading her by the 


hand, a page holding up her long train, and her 
maids of honour and ladies in waiting following 
behind. The Queen met this grotesque procession 
one morning when she was out on her walks, and 
burst into peals of laughter. The poor Princess of 
Wales, who was not conscious of having done any- 
thing wrong, begged to know the reason of her 
Majesty's merriment, whereupon the gentle Princess 
Caroline so far forgot her gentleness as to tell her 
sister-in-law, tartly, that it was ridiculous for her to 
walk out like a tragedy queen, when she was merely 
taking the air privately in the gardens. 

If the King and Queen had thought to pacify 
their eldest son by yielding to his wish to be married, 
they quickly found themselves mistaken. The Prince 
accepted this concession only as an instalment, and 
immediately began to ask for more. He did not con- 
sider his demand for a separate establishment met 
by his being given apartments in the royal palaces, 
and he refused to be contented with anything less 
than the full sum voted for him by Parliament. 
The King stoutly refused to yield more and ex- 
pressed himself very forcibly on, what he called, his 
son's ungrateful conduct. Thus baffled, the Prince 
began to raise money right and left by giving bills 
and bonds payable on the death of his father and 
his own accession to the throne, and the money- 
lenders were willing to advance him money on these 
conditions at an extortionate rate of interest. When 
the King heard of this he became greatly frightened 
lest the rapacity of the usurers should cause them to 


hasten his death by assassination. The Queen feared 
for the King's safety too, and had long talks with 
Walpole and Lord Hervey on the subject. Lord 
Hervey, who hated the Prince, offered to brmg for- 
ward a bill in the House of Lords making it a capital 
offence for any man to lend money on the considera- 
tion of the King's death, but Walpole wisely pooh- 
poohed the idea. He strongly objected to bringing 
the disputes of the Royal Family before the public, 
and told the Queen he could see no way of keeping 
the Prince in order except through the good influence 
of the Princess of Wales. The Queen then tried to 
discuss matters with the Princess, but, coached by 
her husband, she would not listen. She was very 
sorry she said, but her Majesty must excuse her, 
she . must decline to take any part in the con- 
troversy. Whatever her husband did was right in 
her eyes and it was her duty to obey him, whom 
she had sworn to obey. This drew from the Queen 
the expression : " Poor creature, if she were to spit 
in my face I should only pity her for being under 
such a fool's direction, and wipe it off". She pitied 
the Princess rather than blamed her, and allowed 
this little incident to make no difference to her 
behaviour towards her. The Princess no doubt 
had done wisely and the Prince showed his ap- 
preciation by treating his wife with courtesy and 
kindness, and the marriage, which had begun in- 
auspiciously, turned out better than any one ex- 




THE Prince of Wales's marriage over, the King 
became very impatient to return to Hanover. The 
pledge he had given to Madame Walmoden last 
year, that he would be with her on May 29th, had 
become known to Walpole, who swore to the Queen 
that the King should not go if he could prevent it. 
The Quakers' Bill was just then before Parliament 
and the bishops were giving a great deal of trouble 
to the Government in the House of Lords ; the King's 
departure for Hanover again so soon would be another 
source of embarrassment. But neither Walpole's pro- 
tests nor the Queen's more diplomatic representations 
were of any avail with the King. " I am sick to death 
of all this foolish stuff," said the Defender of the Faith 
to the Queen one day when she was speaking to 
him about the bishops' action in the House of 
Lords, "and wish with all my heart that the devil 
may take all your bishops and the devil take your 
minister, and the devil take the parliament, and the 
devil take the whole island, provided I can get out 
of it and go to Hanover." 


After this there was clearly nothing more to be 
said, and in the middle of May the King set out for 
Hanover, this time taking Horace Walpole with 
him as minister in attendance instead of Harring- 
ton, whom the Queen and Walpole determined 
should never go with the King to Hanover again. 
He again appointed the Queen Regent, and sent 
a message to the Prince of Wales telling him that 
wherever the Queen-Regent resided, there would 
be apartments provided for himself and the Princess. 
The Prince resented this message, which forced 
him, he said, to move his household at the Queen's 
pleasure, and made him practically a prisoner in her 
palace. That was perhaps an exaggeration, but the 
order was evidently designed to prevent the Prince 
and Princess setting up a court of their own in the 
King's absence. The Prince considered that his 
marriage gave him an additional claim to be 
appointed Regent instead of the Queen. He there- 
fore tried in many small ways to set her authority as 
Regent at defiance, and he trumped up the excuse 
of the Princess's indisposition to hinder him from 
occupying the same house as the Queen according 
to the King's command. The Queen, who suspected 
that this was only an evasion, came up from Rich- 
mond, where she had removed after the King left, 
to London to find out if the Princess of Wales were 
really ill. But her intention was baffled, for when 
she arrived she was told that the Princess was in 
bed and could not receive her, and when the Queen 
insisted on being shown to her daughter-in-law's 


chamber, she found the room so dark that she could 
scarcely see her, and had to return to Richmond no 
better informed than when she set out. Shortly 
afterwards the Queen removed to Hampton Court, 
and with some little delay the Prince and Princess 
followed, and had their suite of apartments allotted 
them there. 

The Prince of Wales did not attend the Council 
when the Queen broke the seals of the King's com- 
mission making her Regent ; he pretended that he 
had mistaken the hour. He tried by every possible 
means to discredit the Queen- Regent's authority, and 
to cultivate popularity at the expense of his parents, 
It was fairly easy for him to pit himself against his 
father, for the King's conduct in going to Hanover 
two years running, his affaire with the Walmoden, 
and the fact that he had left unfilled several com- 
missions in the army because, people said, he wished 
to pocket the pay himself, had made him more 
unpopular than ever. Some measure of this un- 
popularity reflected itself upon the Queen, though 
she, poor woman, was the greatest sufferer by the 
King's intrigue with the Walmoden. The Princess 
of Wales also suddenly discovered that she had 
scruples about receiving the Sacrament according 
to the rites of the Church of England, and de- 
clared that she was a Protestant and a Lutheran. 
This move, which was probably made by command 
of the Prince in order to gain the goodwill of the 
Dissenters, gave a great deal of annoyance to the 
Queen, for the bishops and clergy were up in arms 


about it, talked loudly of the Act of Succession, and 
declared that if the Princess would not conform to 
the rites of the Church of England she would have 
to be sent back again to Saxe-Gotha. The Queen 
spoke to the Prince on the subject, but he declared 
that he could do nothing, for when he reasoned to 
his wife she only wept and talked of her conscience. 
However, the threat of being sent back to Saxe- 
Gotha effectually abolished the Princess's scruples ; 
she dried her tears and attended the services at the 
chapel at Hampton Court like the rest of the Royal 
Family. Yet even when they came to church the 
Prince and Princess of Wales managed to show 
disrespect to the Queen's office as Regent. They 
arranged always to come late, so that the Princess 
had to push past the Queen in the royal pew, an 
uncomfortable proceeding so far as the Queen was 
concerned, for she was stout and the pew was narrow. 
Moreover, the arrival of the Prince and Princess and 
a numerous suite half-way through the service was 
exceedingly disturbing, so, after bearing with it two 
or three Sundays, the Queen sent word that if the 
Princess came late she must make her entry by an- 
other door. The Princess, however, persisting, the 
Queen ordered a servant to stand at the main entrance 
of the chapel after she had gone in and not permit 
any one to pass until the service was over, which 
would have the effect of sending the Princess round 
to another door, or of keeping her out of the chapel 
altogether. The Prince, however, was equal even 
to this, for he told the Princess that if she was not 


ready to go into chapel with the Queen she was not 
to go at all, and so neatly avoided yielding the point. 

The Queen, notwithstanding all these studied 
slights and petty insults, was determined not to 
quarrel with her son, and regularly asked the Prince 
and Princess to dine with her once or twice a week, 
and sometimes invited them to music and cards 
in the gallery at Hampton Court in the evening. 
The Princess came now and then to these latter 
functions, the Prince never, though they both were 
obliged to come to dinner when the Queen asked 
them. These dinners could not have been pleasant 
to either side ; they certainly were not to the Queen, 
who, after they were over, used to declare that the 
dulness of her daughter-in-law and the silly jokes of 
her son gave her the vapours, and she felt more 
tired than " if she had carried them round the garden 
on her back ". 

Meanwhile the King at Hanover was enjoying 
himself with his enchantress, who had presented 
him with a fine boy, which it suited her purpose to 
declare was his son. 1 The King, who was now fifty- 
three years of age, firmly believed her, and his affec- 
tions became riveted to Madame Walmoden more 
firmly than ever. Yet he might well have doubted, 
for the lady had many friends to console her in his 
absence, and a suspicious incident occurred this 

1 This son, according to some authorities, came over to England 
with Madame Walmoden, afterwards Countess of Yarmouth, after 
the Queen's death, and was generally known at court as " Master 
Louis". But according to Lord Hervey the child died within a year 
of its birth. 


summer even while George was at Hanover. The 
King was staying, according to his custom, at Her- 
renhausen, and Madame Walmoden was living in the 
apartments set apart for her by the King in the Leine 
Schloss. She spent most of her time with the King 
at Herrenhausen, returning to the Leine Schloss at 
night, where she was sometimes visited by the King. 
The Leine Schloss was very different then to what 
it is now, for it was fronted by extensive gardens on 
both banks of the Leine, the gardens through which 
poor Sophie Dorothea used to steal, disguised, to 
Konigsmarck's lodgings. The Walmoden's bed- 
chamber was on the garden side of the palace, and 
one night a gardener chancing to walk round the 
palace in the small hours found a ladder placed im- 
mediately under Madame Walmoden's window. The 
man thought this must be the attempt of a burglar, 
who had come to steal the lady's jewels, and 
made a careful search round the garden. He pre- 
sently discovered a man hiding behind a bush, 
whom he immediately seized, and, shouting for the 
guard, had him placed under arrest. To every one's 
astonishment, the prisoner proved to be no thief, but 
an officer in the Austrian service, named Schulem- 
burg, a relative of the Duchess of Kendal's, who 
was on a visit to Hanover in connection with some 
diplomatic mission. Schulemburg protested against 
the indignity put upon him, which he said would be 
resented not only by himself, but by his master, the 
Emperor, and made such a fuss that the captain of 
the guard released him at once. 


Before the morning the story was all over the 
palace, and Madame Walmoden, who had been 
aroused in the night, was in a great state of agita- 
tion. But her woman's wit came to her aid. As 
early as six o'clock the next morning she ordered 
her coach and drove off to Herrenhausen to give 
her version of the affair to the King before any one 
else could tell him. George was still a-bed when 
the lady arrived, but being a privileged personage 
she passed the guards and .made her way to his 
bedside. She threw herself upon her knees, and 
besought the King, between her tears and sobs, to 
protect her from gross insult, or allow her to retire 
from his court for ever ; she declared that she 
loved him not as a king but as a man, and for his 
own sake alone, but wicked envious people, who 
were jealous of the favour he had shown her, were 
plotting to ruin her. The King, astonished at this 
early visit, rubbed his eyes, and asked what it all 
meant. She then told him about the ladder, and 
declared that it must have been placed there by 
design of a certain Madame d'Elitz with intent to 
ruin her with the King. This Madame d'Elitz was 
also a Schulemburg, a niece of the old Duchess of 
Kendal. She was credited with having had intrigues 
with three generations of the Hanoverian family, 
the old King, George the First, the present King, 
George the Second, and Frederick, Prince of Wales, 
before he came over to England. This was pro- 
bably an exaggeration, but it is certain that she was 
the mistress of George the Second before he 


deserted her for the superior charms of the Wal- 
moden. So the story had at least the element of 
plausibility. At any rate the King accepted it, and 
ordered the captain of the guard to be put under 
arrest for having released Schulemburg, and sent 
word that he should again be apprehended. But 
Horace Walpole, the English Minister in attendance, 
fearing that this might involve the King in a quarrel 
with the Emperor, sent Schulemburg word pri- 
vately to make speed out of Hanover, which he did 

All sorts of versions were given of this ladder 
incident, which quickly became known in London, 
and was much discussed by Queen Caroline and her 
court. The King wrote long letters to the Queen 
in England, telling her all about the affair, and 
asking her to judge it impartially for him, as he was 
so fond of the Walmoden that he could not judge it 
otherwise than partially, and if she were in doubt 
he asked her to consult le gros homme, Sir Robert 
Walpole, "who," he said, "is much more experi- 
enced, my dear Caroline, in these affairs than you, 
and less prejudiced than myself in it". But whatever 
was the Queen's opinion the King remained devoted 
to his Walmoden, and refused to believe any evil of 
her. Whether Caroline really consulted Walpole or 
not it is impossible to say ; but though she laughed 
about the incident in public she wept many bitter tears 
in private, and her patience was well-nigh exhausted. 

Caroline had no easy part to play in this, her 
fourth and most eventful, regency. Her health had 


been failing for some time, and now was an ever- 
present trouble. The knowledge of the King's 
infatuation, and the fear that her influence over him 
was waning, preyed upon her mind, and she was 
further harassed by the covert rebellion against her 
authority carried on by the Prince of Wales. All 
these were troubles from within, but those from 
without were also serious. The King was never so 
unpopular as now, and his unpopularity reflected itself 
upon the Government. There were discontents and 
disorders in different parts of the country ; a riot broke 
out in the west of England because of the exporta- 
tion of corn, and so violent were the farmers that in 
many districts the military had to be called out to 
quell the tumult. Another disturbance took place 
at Spitalfields among the weavers, who objected to 
Irishmen working there because they were willing to 
accept lower wages and could accustom themselves 
to a lower standard of living than Englishmen. A 
riot broke out and many Irish were killed and others 
wounded. Huge mobs assembled, and again the 
Queen-Regent had to command that soldiers should 
be called out, which had the effect of diverting the 
rage of the weavers from the Irish to the court. 
They now began to curse the Germans even more 
loudly than they execrated the Irish, and from cursing 
the Germans they proceeded to cursing the King and 
Queen, and shouting for James the Third. Eventu- 
ally the soldiers quelled the riots, but not without 
bloodshed, and the discontent was all the more 
active for being driven below the surface. 


Another source of dissatisfaction with the people 
was the Gin Act, which had been passed with the 
object of abating the vice of drunkenness, and 
especially the drinking of gin by the lower classes. 
Gin drinking at that time was the popular habit, and 
was carried to such a degree that the drunkenness 
of the mob and the depraved and debased condition 
of public morals became a crying scandal. The 
sale of gin was carried to such an extent in the 
taverns that a newspaper of the time informs us : 
"We hear that a strong- water shop was lately 
opened in Southwark with this inscription on the 
sign :- 

Drunk for one penny, 
Dead drunk for two pence, 
Clean straw for nothing." 1 

The Gin Act was passed with a view to putting 
a stop to this sale, but without success, and the 
truth that people cannot be made sober by Act of 
Parliament was proved up to the hilt. The only 
result was to encourage a gang of informers who be- 
came the pest of the country. The Act came into 
force on September 29th, 1736, and as the date 
approached ballads and lamentations of " Mother 
Gin " were sung about the streets, the signs of the 
liquor shops were everywhere put into mourning, 
and mock ceremonies on the funeral of " Madam 
Gin " were carried out by the mob. To quote from 
the journals : " Last Wednesday, September 29th, 

1 Old Whig, z6th February, 1736. This inscription was after- 
wards introduced by Hogarth in his caricature of Gin Lane. 
VOL. II. 20 


several people made themselves very merry with the 
death of ' Madam Gin,' and some of both sexes 
got soundly drunk at her funeral, of which the mob 
made a formal procession with torches." l 

All over the country it was the same, and the 
Act was practically abortive. The selling of gin 
was carried on just the same, sometimes publicly in 
the shops, more often by hawkers who sold it about 
the streets in flasks and bottles under fictitious 
names. Some of these names were odd enough, 
such as " Cuckold's Comfort," "Make-Shift," "The 
Ladies' Delight," " Colic and Gripe water," and so 
forth. Sometimes the gin was coloured with a 
drop or two of pink fluid, and sold in bottles, 
labelled : "Take two or three spoonfuls of this four 
or five times a day, or as often as the fit takes 
you ". The Act was repealed seven years later ; 
but the whole of its unpopularity now fell upon 
Walpole and the Queen- Regent, especially on the 
latter, who certainly had urged its passing, as she 
wished to abate the crying scandal of drunkenness. 
The Prince of Wales, in his quest for popularity, 
sided with the people, and was said to have been 
seen drinking gin publicly in one of the taverns the 
very day the Act came into force. 

The most serious riot of all took place, not 
in London or the provinces, but in Edinburgh. 
Scotland, though quelled for a time after the abortive 
rising of 1715, was still restless under Hanoverian 
rule, and it needed but a spark to set the discontent 

1 The Daily Gazetteer, 2nd October, 1736. 


in a blaze. Scotland had never been reconciled to 
the Act of Union, and the jealousy of any inter- 
ference from England was strongly resented, even 
by many of those who refused to acknowledge 
James as their King. The Porteous Riots served 
to bring matters to a climax. These riots had their 
origin in a small matter. Two smugglers, named 
Robertson and Wilson, were arrested by the 
officers of the Crown for robbing a collector of 
customs, and lay in the Tolbooth, or city gaol of 
Edinburgh, under sentence of death. Hanging was 
the punishment for smuggling in those days, but 
practically the severity of the sentence rendered the 
Act inoperative, and smuggling was winked at by 
many honest Scots who regarded these imposts as 
an unjust aggression upon their ancient liberties. 
But in this case the Government determined to 
make an example. Great sympathy was felt for the 
prisoners by the people, and files were secretly con- 
veyed to them from outside to aid their escape. The 
prisoners freed themselves from their manacles, and 
cut through a bar of the window. Wilson insisted 
on going first, but as he was a stout man he got 
fixed in the opening, and there remained, unable 
to move backwards or forwards. In this plight he 
was found in the morning, and the escape of the 
prisoners was defeated. Wilson was seized with 
self-reproach at the thought that, if it had not been 
for his wilfulness, Robertson, who was a younger 
and slimmer man, would have been saved, and he 
determined to do something to help him. 


It was the custom in those days for condemned 
prisoners to be taken to the Tolbooth church the 
Sunday before their execution, and be preached at. 
Robertson and Wilson went as was customary, es- 
corted by guards, but as they were coming out 
Wilson attacked the guards unexpectedly, and cried 
to Robertson to escape. In the confusion the latter 
managed to do so ; he jumped over the pews, and was 
aided by the sympathetic congregation. The gener- 
ous conduct of Wilson excited great popular sym- 
pathy, but Captain John Porteous, who was in 
command of the city guard, a rough and brutal man, 
especially resented the saving of one prisoner by the 
other, and determined that Wilson's execution should 
take place the next day. In this decision he was 
hastened by a rumour that Wilson would be rescued 
from the gallows by the mob. He ordered a double 
guard around the scaffold, and was said to have forced 
the unfortunate victim to wear handcuffs much too 
small for him as he went to the place of execution, 
though the latter showed him his bruised and 
bleeding wrists, and protested against this barbarity. 
" It signifies little," said Porteous brutally, " your 
pain will soon be at an end." Wilson answered him 
in words that were afterwards remembered : " You 
know not how soon you yourself may have occasion 
to ask the mercy which you are now refusing to a 
fellow-creature. May God forgive you ! " 

Wilson was hanged by the neck on the gibbet 
erected in the Grassmarket, and the execution passed 
off quietly enough, though an enormous and threaten- 


ing crowd had assembled. But when the body had 
hung on the gibbet for some time, some of the mob 
began to throw stones at the guards and a rush was 
made for the scaffold to cut down the body, either 
to give it decent burial or to see if it could be resusci- 
tated. Porteous, who was a violent-tempered man 
and was said to be half-drunk, ordered the soldiers 
to fire upon the crowd and even stimulated them by 
snatching a musket from a soldier and firing it him- 
self. Several persons were wounded, and six or 
seven killed on the spot. The firing was the signal 
for a general tumult ; Porteous and his soldiers 
withdrew with difficulty to the guard-house, pur- 
sued by execrations and volleys of stones. Local 
feeling was wholly against Porteous ; he was arrested 
for ordering the soldiers to fire upon the citizens, 
several of whom had taken no part in the tumult. 
His trial took place before the High Court of Justice 
in Edinburgh, and he was found guilty and condemned 
to death. He was to be hanged on September 8th, 
1736, and meanwhile lay in the Tolbooth. He 
appealed to London, and the Queen-Regent in 
Council, taking into consideration the provocation 
which Porteous had received, ordered his reprieve. 
When this reprieve arrived at Edinburgh from 
the Secretary of State's Office, under the hand of 
the Duke of Newcastle, the agitation that arose was 
almost beyond belief. The people, who had been 
thirsting for the death of Porteous, were like tigers 
baulked of their prey, and determined to take the 
law into their own hands. There is little doubt 


that the Lord Provost and city authorities were 
aware of what was going to take place, and also the 
General in command of the troops at the Castle. 
They did nothing to prevent it, for their sympathies 
were with the people. The night after the Queen's 
reprieve arrived in Edinburgh, a fierce mob arose 
as if by magic, armed with pikes, bayonets, Loch- 
aber axes, and any arms they could find, and headed 
by a man dressed in woman's clothes. The rioters 
made themselves masters of the gates of the city, 
disarmed the guard, and marched to the Tolbooth, 
with shouts of " Porteous ! Porteous ! " The un- 
happy man within, who was entertaining a party 
of boon companions on the cheerful news of his 
reprieve, saw the glare of the torches, heard the 
cries, and recognised in them the shout of his doom. 
His friends made off as fast as they could, the 
turnkeys were seized with panic and ran away, and 
many prisoners escaped. Porteous concealed him- 
self in the chimney of his cell. For some time the 
old door of the Tolbooth, which was of stout oak, 
heavily clamped with iron, resisted the onslaughts 
of the rioters, but at last they burned it down, and 
leaping over the embers rushed into the prison in 
search of their prey. The miserable man was soon 
discovered, dragged from the chimney, carried out- 
side and hanged in the sight of the mob from an 
improvised gibbet made of a barber's pole. The 
crowd then dispersed as suddenly and mysteriously 
as it had assembled ; the method and precision with 
which the ringleaders carried out their work, and the 


celerity with which they dispersed, showed there 
was method in this rough justice, and that it was 
rather the result of a conspiracy than an ordinary 
riot. The next morning not a sign remained of 
the night's dread work except the body of Porteous 
hanging from the pole. 

When the news reached London the Queen was 
furious at the insult which she conceived had been 
especially aimed at her authority as Regent, and 
gave vent to language which for vigour would have 
done credit to her exemplar, Queen Elizabeth. For 
the only time on record Caroline thoroughly lost 
her temper. She hastily summoned a council and 
proposed the wildest measures. The charter of 
Edinburgh, she said, must be withdrawn, the 
Provost must be incapacitated from ever holding 
office again, the commander of the garrison must 
be cashiered, and fines and imprisonment were to 
be the order of the day. The Duke of Argyll 
endeavoured to put in a moderating word on behalf 
of his countrymen. The Queen turned on him with 
fury, and said that sooner than brook such an insult 
she would make Scotland a hunting ground. "In 
that case, madam," said the duke with a bow, " I 
will take leave of your Majesty, and go down to my 
own country to get my hounds ready." Caroline 
recognised the covert threat in the duke's words, 
and adjourned the council. Fortunately her anger 
was not of a kind to last long, and wiser counsels 
prevailed. The Scottish peers defended their 
countrymen in the House of Lords, and in the end 


a compromise was arrived at, by which the City of 
Edinburgh had to pay a nominal fine of .2,000, 
and the Provost was disgraced. 

It was on the Porteous Riots that Sir Walter 
Scott wrote his celebrated novel, The Heart of 
Midlothian. He introduces Queen Caroline in 
connection with Jeannie Deans, who walked all 
the way from Edinburgh to London to plead the 
cause of her sister, Effie Deans, who was sentenced 
to death according to Scottish law for concealing 
the birth of her illegitimate child. The father 
of this child, according to Scott's romance, was 
Robertson, the prisoner who had escaped, and who 
was supposed to have headed the mob against 
Porteous. Of course, in a novel a good deal of 
fiction is reared on a slender basis of fact, and Scott 
makes some little mistakes. For example, in the 
Queen's interview with Jeannie Deans he makes 
Lady Suffolk be in attendance, instead of Lady 
Sundon (Mrs. Clayton), whereas Lady Suffolk had 
left the court two years before ; he also places the 
Queen's palace at Richmond, where the interview 
took place, in Richmond Park, whereas it was in 
Richmond Gardens. But this much at least is true, 
and may be quoted as one of the many instances of 
the Queen's kindness of heart. A certain Scottish 
peasant woman named Helen Walker actually did 
walk from Edinburgh to London, to plead with the 
Queen-Regent on behalf of her sister, then lying 
under sentence of death in the Tolbooth in Edin- 
burgh. The sister, who was called Isabella, or 


Tibbie Walker, had secretly given birth to an 
illegitimate child, which shortly afterwards died, and 
by the Scottish law of those days she was adjudged, 
by wilfully concealing her condition, to have been 
guilty of its death. At the trial of this wretched 
girl, her sister Helen, a rigid Presbyterian, was 
unwillingly the principal witness against her sister. 
When she was asked whether Tibbie, whom she 
dearly loved, had ever made known to her the fact 
of her condition, she refused to perjure herself by 
saying that she had, saying : "It is impossible for 
me to swear a falsehood " ; and thus gave away her 
sister's sole chance of release. According to the 
Scottish law, six weeks had to elapse between the 
sentence and the execution, and in that time Helen 
Walker got up a petition praying the Queen for her 
sister's reprieve, signed by some of the principal 
residents in Edinburgh, and armed with this she 
made her way to London on foot. Arrived there she 
presented herself, clad in tartan plaid and country 
attire, before John, the great Duke of Argyll, who 
was regarded in Scotland as a protector of the poor. 
To him she made appeal. The Duke of Argyll told 
the whole story to the Queen, who was so much 
touched at the girl's honesty in refusing to perjure 
herself, and her sisterly devotion in making this 
long pilgrimage, that she granted the pardon at 
once, and Helen Walker returned with it to Edin- 
burgh in time to save her sister. She had trusted 
"in the Almighty's strength," she said. Whether 
the Queen gave audience to Helen Walker or not 


is uncertain (it would have been characteristic of 
her if she had done so), but the other facts of the 
case are well authenticated. 

These exciting public events kept the Queen- 
Regent busy throughout the summer and early 
autumn, and gave her less time to think about her 
private troubles. But when the time drew near 
for the King to return to England, and he still lin- 
gered at Hanover, she became anxious ; and when he 
wrote to say that he could not be back in England for 
his birthday, October 3Oth, as he had always done 
before, her tolerance and endurance began to give 
way. She took his absence on his birthday as a 
personal slight to herself, a sign to all the world 
that her influence over him had waned, owing to 
his passion for another. Her letters to the King, 
which were usually of great length, giving him full 
details of everything which took place, now became 
fewer and shorter, and no doubt abated propor- 
tionately in warmth. 

Walpole and the Queen had hitherto affected 
to treat the King's affair with Madame Walmoden 
as a joke, but now they recognised that it was 
beyond a joke and might become a public danger 
as it already was a public scandal. They therefore 
put affectation aside and looked the matter in the 
face. Walpole repeated, with even greater frank- 
ness, the views he had expressed on the subject 
some time before, and he told the Queen that she 
could no longer keep the King to her side by the 
arts and charms she had employed when she was a 


younger woman. He therefore recommended that 
she should maintain her influence by accepting the 
situation and making the best of it. Since the King 
would not live anywhere long without his Walmoden, 
the Queen must go so far as to ask him to bring her 
to England. The Queen wept bitterly when the 
Prime Minister gave her this advice, but at last 
declared that she would do as he suggested. Wai- 
pole, profligate and cynical though he was, had his 
doubts at first whether the Queen, as a wife and a 
woman, would carry her complaisance thus far. Two 
or three days after, when he met her walking in the 
gardens at Richmond, she taxed him with not be- 
lieving that she would keep her promise. Walpole 
replied : " Madam, your Majesty in asking if I 
disbelieved you, would put a word into my mouth 
so coarse that I could not give it place even in my 
thoughts, but if you oblige me to answer this question 
I confess I feared". "Well," replied the Queen, 
" I understand what ' I feared ' means on this oc- 
casion. To show you that your fears were ill-founded 
I have considered what you said to me, and am de- 
termined this very day to write to the King just as 
you would have me, and on Monday when we meet at 
Kensington you shall see the letter." Accordingly 
Caroline wrote the letter and despatched it to her 
faithless husband, assuring him that she had nothing 
but his happiness at heart, and urging him to bring 
the Walmoden to England if such a step would 
conduce to it. Heaven knows what mortification 
and anguish the Queen suffered before she brought 


herself to write that letter. She has been greatly 
blamed by the moralists for writing it, but the great 
excuse that can be urged for her is that her action 
was strongly dictated by political expediency, for 
the King's prolonged absence at Hanover was 
bringing his throne into peril. 

The Queen went further in her abasement, and 
even considered the possibility of taking Madame 
Walmoden into her personal service in the same 
position that Lady Suffolk had occupied, and so 
throwing an air of respectability over the arrange- 
ment. But from this Walpole dissuaded her, 
pointing out that it would deceive no one, and 
defeat its object, for the world would be scandal- 
ised if the Queen made the King's mistress one 
of her servants, which he said was a different thing 
from the King's making one of the Queen's ser- 
vants his mistress, as had been done in the case 
of Lady Suffolk a nice distinction. The King was 
delighted with his Queen's complaisance, and soon 
sent her an answer many pages long, in which he 
praised her to the skies. He said that he wished to 
be everything that she would have him to be, but she 
knew his nature, and must make allowances for it. 
" Mais vous voyez mes passions ma chkre Caroline ! 
Vous connaissez mes foiblesses, il riy a rien de cacht 
dans mon cceur pour vous, et plut a Dieu que vous 
pourriez me corriger avec la mme facility que vous 
m approfondissez / Plut a Dieu que je pourrais vous 
imiter autant que je sais vous admirer, et que je 
pourrais apprendre de vous toutes les vertus que 


VGUS me faites voir, sentir, et aimer!" The King 
then gave for the Queen's delectation a detailed 
description of the Walmoden's personal charms, 
over which Caroline must have made a wry 
face. He desired that Lady Suffolk's lodgings 
should be made ready for her, as she would avail 
herself of the Queen's kind permission to make her 
home in England. The Queen showed the King's 
letter to Walpole, and said : " Well now, Sir Robert, 
I hope you are satisfied. You see this minion is 
coming to England." But Walpole shook his head, 
and said that he did not believe she would come, 
for she was afraid of the Queen. He had pro- 
bably received advices from his brother Horace 
at Hanover telling him that Madame Walmoden 
was not such a fool as they thought her. His 
surmise proved correct, for, though the Queen made 
ready the lodgings, the Walmoden thought dis- 
cretion the better part of valour, and remembering 
the fate of Lady Suffolk, wisely elected to stay at 

The question whether Madame Walmoden would 
come or not agitated the court, especially the Queen's 
household. Some declared that it would be an 
outrage and do infinite harm ; others inclined to the 
opinion that it would be better to bring her over, 
for if she kept the King so long in Hanover, 
thus exasperating the English people, he would go 
there once too often, and the nation would never let 
him come back. The scandal gradually filtered down 
through the court to the people. They did not under- 


stand why the King's absence should be so prolonged, 
and sought a cause. No one wanted him back for 
his own sake, but it was said that trade suffered 
because the King was not in London, and the dis- 
affected seized upon his predilection for Hanover 
as a pretext for their disaffection. Many honest 
people pitied the Queen, a virtuous matron, they 
declared, who should not be used so ill, and they 
thought it was ridiculous for the King at his age, 
close on sixty, with a wife and family, to be playing 
the gallant, when he ought to be setting an example 
to the nation. The most extraordinary bills and 
satires were printed and posted up in different parts 
of the town ; one ran to this effect : 

" It is reported that his Hanoverian Majesty 
designs to visit his British dominions for three 
months in the spring." 

On the gate of St. James's Palace a more daring 
bill was posted : 

" Lost or strayed out of this house a man who 
has left a wife and six children on the parish ; who- 
ever will give any tidings of him to the church- 
wardens of St. James's parish, so that he may be 
got again, shall receive four shillings and sixpence 
reward. N.B. This reward will not be increased, 
nobody judging him to deserve a crown." 

One day in the City an old broken-down horse 
was turned out with a ragged saddle on its back, 
and a woman's pillion stuck up behind it. On the 
horse's forehead was fastened this inscription : " Let 
nobody stop me, I am the King's Hanoverian 


equipage going to fetch his Majesty and his w 
to England." 

In the autumn the Queen removed her court from 
Hampton Court to Kensington. The King sent her 
word from Hanover that she could go to St. James's 
if she liked, but as she was afraid of arousing his 
jealousy by keeping too much state, or perhaps 
because she did not care to show herself much in 
public under present circumstances, she declined, and 
only went to St. James's to celebrate the King's 
birthday. The displeasure at his absence was very 
marked at the birthday drawing-room ; the atten- 
dance was meagre, and the clothes positively shabby. 
The Queen affected to notice nothing unusual, but 
the Prince of Wales openly expressed his approval 
of these signs of dissatisfaction, and deliberately 
played on his sire's unpopularity to make himself 
more popular. But though the Queen was outwardly 
calm she was inwardly much concerned, and she 
made representations so urgent to the King that 
at last he gave the long-deferred orders for the 
royal yacht to set out for Holland. 

On December 7th (1736), after giving a ball 
and a farewell supper at Herrenhausen, the King 
tore himself away from Hanover and his Walmoden. 
He arrived four days later at Helvoetsluys, where 
the yacht was awaiting him. His daughter, the 
Princess of Orange, lay in a very perilous child- 
bed at the Hague, and had urgently asked her 
father to come and see her on his way home, 
but the King would *not leave his mistress a few 


hours sooner so as to give himself time to visit his 

It was soon known in London that the King 
had set out from Hanover, and the Queen anxiously 
awaited his return, she being the only person in 
England who really cared whether he came back or 
not. But a great storm arose at sea, which lasted for 
many days, and the King came not, nor any tidings 
of him, though a hundred messages a day passed 
between St. James's Palace, where the Queen was r 
and the Admiralty. No one knew whether the King 
had embarked at Helvoetsluys or not ; but it was 
thought certain that, if he had embarked, his vessel 
must go down, as no ship could withstand the tre- 
mendous seas then running. As the days went by and 
no news came, the suspense at court became great. 
Wagers were freely laid on whether the King was 
drowned or not ; many people opined that he was, 
and the wish was often father to the thought. The 
Prince of Wales went about everywhere, showing 
himself freely to the people. When the Queen's 
anxiety was at its worst he gave a dinner to the 
Lord Mayor and Aldermen, and made them a 
speech, which was loudly praised. The Queen, 
who was greatly incensed that the Prince should 
give this dinner at such a time, asked particulars 
about it the next morning, and when she was told 
how well it had passed off, and how popular the 
Prince was becoming, she exclaimed : " My God r 
popularity always makes me sick, but Fritz's popu- 
larity makes me vomit. I hear that yesterday, on 


his side of the house, they talked of the King's 
being cast away with the same sang-froid as you 
would talk of a coach being overturned, and that 
my good son strutted about as if he had been 
already King." 

Walpole and his friends about the court were 
much exercised as to what would happen to the Queen 
if the King were really drowned, and the Prince 
ascended the throne. Walpole declared that "he 
(the Prince) would tear the flesh off her bones with 
hot irons," so much did he hate his mother. Lord 
Hervey, on the other hand, thought that he would 
probably make use of the Queen's great knowledge 
and experience in the management of affairs, and 
her position would not become so intolerable as 
some imagined. The Princess Caroline differed 
from him. " My good lord," she said, "you must 
know very little of him if you believe that, for in 
the first place, he hates mamma, in the next, he 
has so good an opinion of himself that he thinks he 
wants no advice, and of all advice, no woman's." 
She said also that the moment he was King "she 
would run out of the house, au grand galop ". But 
the Queen declared that she would not budge an 
inch before she was compelled to go. 

This uncertainty continued for more than a 
week, and one morning the Prince of Wales, with 
a satisfaction he could ill conceal, came to the 
Queen with the news that he had received a letter 
from a correspondent near Harwich saying that the 
night before guns had been heard at sea, signals of 

VOL. II. 21 


distress, and part of the fleet that escorted the King's 
yacht had been dispersed. The poor Queen passed 
a day of the greatest anxiety and depression, but at 
night a King's messenger, who had been three days at 
sea, and had landed by a miracle at Yarmouth, arrived 
at the palace with a letter from the King, telling the 
Queen that he had not yet stirred out of Helvoet- 
sluys. Directly the Queen read the letter she cried 
out to the whole court : " The King is safe ! the 
King is safe ! " with a joy that showed how greatly 
she had feared. 

The Queen's satisfaction did not last long. A 

Xi O 

few days later, the wind having calmed, it was 
understood that the King had embarked. Suddenly 
the gales arose fiercer than before, and everybody 
thought that he was at sea and in great danger. 
No word of the King reached the court for ten 
days more, and then a vessel that had set out with 
the King from Helvoetsluys, and continued with 
the fleet until the storm arose, brought news that 
the royal yacht had been seen to tack about, but 
whether to return to the harbour or not it was 
impossible to say. The tempests continued to rage 
with unabated violence, and from accounts that 
reached the court of guns of distress and ship- 
wrecks, there seemed little doubt that the King 
by now was at the bottom of the sea. The Queen 
lost all hope and broke down and wept bitterly. In 
the Prince's apartments everything wore a subdued 
air of excitement ; messengers ran to and fro, and it 
was said that the Prince already considered himself 


King of England. The Queen, hearing this, roused 
herself and determined to put a bold face on the 
matter, and on Sunday December 26th, she went 
to the Chapel Royal as usual. She had not been 
in chapel more than half an hour when a letter 
arrived from the King telling her that it was true 
he had set out from Helvoetsluys, but owing to the 
violence of the tempest he had put back again, with 
great difficulty, into port, where he still was de- 
tained by contrary winds. It afterwards transpired 
that the King had insisted on going forward, and 
only the good sense of the admiral in command of 
the fleet, who flatly refused to obey orders, saved 
his life. 

The Queen now wrote to the King, telling him 
all her hopes and fears and sufferings. She also 
told him of the Prince's conduct when it was 
thought that he was drowned, and how the dif- 
ferent courtiers and Ministers behaved, The King 
wrote a letter of great length in answer, full of 
the most passionate tenderness. He no longer 
dilated on the charms of the Walmoden, but on 
those of the Queen, expressing his impatience to 
rejoin her, and depicting her as "a perfect Venus". 
The Queen could not forbear showing this letter to 
Walpole, who had told her so frankly that her beauty 
had gone, and said : " Do not think because I show 
you this that I am an old fool and vain of my person 
and charms of this time of day ". But it was evident 
that she was very much pleased. 

There was no popular enthusiasm about the 


King's safety, and one of the topical jests was " How 
is the wind with the King ? Like the nation against 
him." While the King was still away, waiting at 
Helvoetsluys for the wind to change, a great fire 
broke out at the Temple and the Prince of Wales 
went at midnight to help extinguish it. He was 
hailed by the crowd with shouts of " Crown him ! 
Crown him ! ! " and the same cry was heard when 
he appeared at the theatre. However, any im- 
mediate question of crowning him was put at rest 
by the return of the King, who arrived at St. 
James's on January I5th, 1737, after a detention 
at Helvoetsluys of five weeks and an absence 
from England of more than eight months. The 
Queen, accompanied by all her children, including 
the Prince of Wales, went down to the courtyard 
of the palace to receive him as he alighted from 
his coach. The King embraced her with great 
affection, and then gave her his arm to conduct 
her upstairs. A council was held the same day and 
the Queen surrendered into the King's hands her 
office of Regent. 




THE King's narrow escape from drowning really 
seemed to have given him a lesson, for he behaved 
much better on his return to England than he had 
done before he went to Hanover. He treated the 
Queen with great affection and respect, and praised 
her frequently before all the court. He no longer 
abused England and extolled Hanover, and he 
did not so much as mention Madame Walmoden. 
Perhaps the state of his health had something to 
do with his change of conduct ; he had contracted a 
chill on his journey home, which soon after his re- 
turn developed into a low fever. For some time 
the King was very unwell ; he kept to his own 
apartments and saw no one but the Queen and, 
when it was absolutely necessary, Walpole. Ex- 
aggerated rumours soon spread abroad concerning 
his condition, though the King himself, the Queen 
and the Princesses made light of it. Still the 
King grew no better, and at last the Ministers be- 
came anxious, and Walpole taxed the Queen with 
concealing the King's true state of health, an impu- 


tation which she indignantly denied. The Prince 
of Wales and his friends declared that the King's 
constitution had quite broken up, and, even if he 
recovered from this illness, it was unlikely that he 
would long survive. This was a little too much for 
the King, and by way of showing that he was not 
dead yet, he roused himself from his lethargy, 
quitted his chamber and resumed his levees. It 
was noticed that he looked pale and thin, and it was 
generally thought he would not live long, though, 
as a matter of fact, he grew better every day after 
he quitted his chamber. 

The King's ill-health had the result of bringing 
the Prince of Wales more prominently before the 
public. It was felt by many courtiers and politicians 
that his coming to the throne was only a question of 
a little time, and they were anxious to stand well 
with him. The alliance between the Prince and the 
Patriots now became closer, and the Prince gave 
the Opposition his open support in return for their 
championing his grievances, which he was deter- 
mined to have redressed by fair means or foul. He 
had written, or caused to be written, IHistoire 
du Prince Titi, in which his wrongs were set forth 
in detail, and the King and Queen abused under 
transparent pseudonyms. Translations of this work 
were circulated about this time, and gave great 
offence at the court, but they influenced to some 
extent popular feeling in his favour. The Prince 
took the leaders of the Opposition into his confi- 
dence, especially rising men like Pitt and Lyttelton. 


Perhaps it was these younger and more fiery spirits 
who urged him to act upon the advice of Boling- 
broke, and set the King at defiance, though it was 
generally supposed that Chesterfield prompted him. 
Certain it was that the Prince saw in his father's 
illness an opportunity of bringing his claims before 
Parliament, and determined to delay no longer. 
The Prince requested the leaders of the Opposition 
to raise the question in the House of Commons. 
Some were at first reluctant, but influenced no doubt 
by the King's ill-health, Pulteney at last consented 
to bring forward the question, and Wyndham and 
Barnard agreed to support him. 

When the King and Queen heard the news they 
were thrown into an extraordinary state of agitation. 
The King was beside himself with rage ; the Queen 
declared that all these disputes would kill her. The 
Government, too, were in a difficult position. The 
Prince's demand that he should have his ,100,000 
a year, and a dowry for the Princess was, on the 
face of it, reasonable, and, what was more important, 
popular ; Ministers could not be sure of their major- 
ity, and might suffer defeat. Walpole endeavoured 
to effect a compromise, and after great difficulty 
induced the King to send a message to the Prince 
the day before the motion came on in the House, 
saying that he was prepared to settle .50,000 a 
year on him absolutely, and to give the Princess a 
dowry. The Prince declined to consider the 
message, saying that the matter was in other hands. 

The next day, February 22nd (1737), Pulteney 


brought forward his motion in a moderate speech, 
basing his main argument on precedent, and the 
right of the heir-apparent to the Crown to enjoy a 
sufficient and settled income. Walpole in his reply 
laid stress upon the King's message to the Prince 
the previous day, as showing how far the King was 
anxious to meet his son's wishes. He held that 
Parliamentary interference between father and son 
would be highly indecorous. In the end the Prince's 
claims were rejected by a majority of thirty. This 
small majority would really have been reduced to a 
minority if forty-five Tories with Jacobite leanings 
had not left the House in a body, unwilling to give 
any vote in favour of the heir of Hanover, even 
though by doing so they would defeat the Govern- 

The King and the Queen were overjoyed at the 
Prince's defeat, and, in the first flush of victory, the 
King was inclined to follow up his advantage by 
turning his son immediately out of St. James's 
Palace in the same way as (he might have remem- 
bered, but did not) his father had turned him out. 
Walpole dissuaded the King from taking so extreme 
a step, and then proceeded to urge him to make 
good his promise to settle a jointure on the Princess, 
and make over ,50,000 a year to his son absolutely. 
To this the King now demurred, though Walpole 
pointed out to him that the victory in the House of 
Commons had only been gained on the understand- 
ing that the King would carry out his pledges. The 
difficulty was complicated by the Prince continuing 


impenitent. So far from being downcast by his 
defeat in the House of Commons, he called a 
council of all his friends, and it was resolved to 
raise the question anew in the House of Lords, 
Lord Carteret undertaking to bring forward the 
motion, and Chesterfield to support it. Here, too, 
he lost, but public sympathy was undoubtedly with 
him, and to prevent the scandal from growing, Wai- 
pole, Newcastle, and indeed all the King's Ministers, 
urged the necessity of a settlement. One was 
eventually made, though not until much later, by 
the King settling .50,000 a year on the Prince 
absolutely, together with .10,000 a year from the 
Duchy of Cornwall, and Parliament making up the 
rest by giving an unusually large jointure to the 
Princess of Wales. 

The King and Queen were much disgusted at 
what they considered the Government's half-hearted- 
ness, and included in their displeasure the Whigs 
generally, who had certainly wavered in their devo- 
tion to the court when they heard that the King's 
health was so bad. "If the Whigs can be so little 
depended upon in the King's interest," said the 
Queen, " we might as well send for the Tories, who 
are only too willing to come ; the King has only to 
beckon to them." She did, not mean what she said, 
but Walpole became alarmed. His majority was not 
so large that he could pose any longer as a dictator, 
or afford to dispense with the Queen's favour and 
support. He knew that Lady Sundon was in- 
triguing against him, and that she had had several 


interviews with Lord Carteret. Carteret now ex- 
pressed his great regret at having championed the 
Prince's cause ; he said he was driven into it against 
his better judgment ; he was full of the Queen's 
praises, and vowed that he would do anything to 
serve her. He declared that he had great influence 
over the Opposition leaders, especially Pulteney and 
Wyndham, and could bring them to the Queen's side 
if she would only make the sign. All this was duly 
repeated by Lady Sundon to the Queen, who listened 
but did nothing. She never intended to do any- 
thing, but she thought it well to bring Walpole to 
his bearings, and in this she quickly succeeded. 
Walpole came to her, and told her that he had 
heard of Carteret's overtures, and warned her not 
to trust him. The Whigs he urged were the 
natural support of the Hanoverian family, which 
was certainly true, since they had brought them over 
to England, and the Tories were but a broken reed. 
Caroline agreed with all he said, but fell back upon 
the lukewarm support which the Whigs had given 
the King. Even Walpole, she said, had regarded 
the Prince's conduct in too favourable a light. 
Walpole told her that he had only striven to bring 
the Prince to reason, but he now owned that he had 
made a mistake. The Queen, he said, should never 
again have cause to complain of him on that score, 
he saw that the Prince must be overcome. The 
Queen said she only wanted him to assure her on 
that point, and she dismissed him with many assur- 
ances that she would never cease to support him. 


The immediate result of this reconciliation was to 
strengthen the alliance between the Prince and the 
Patriots, who now saw in Frederick their only hope 
of ever gaining office. 

These events took place quite early in the 
Session, but when Parliament rose the King said 
nothing about going to Hanover as Ministers had 
feared. In truth he was afraid to go, for he knew 
that Frederick would seize upon it as a pretext for 
some fresh intrigue, and the country was hardly in 
a humour to brook another prolonged absence. So 
he rarely mentioned the name of Hanover and never 
that of Walmoden. Most people about the court 
thought that the King had forgotten her for Lady 
Deloraine, to whom he showed great attention, 
paying her visits in her apartments for a long time 
together, as he had done to Lady Suffolk in the old 
days. He also insisted on her sitting next him at 
the commerce table, and often walked with her 
tete-a-tete in the gardens. Lady Deloraine, who had 
great beauty but little discretion, was inclined to 
boast of her triumphs, for she said to Lord Hervey : 
" Do you know the King has been in love with me 
these two years?" Lord Hervey, who was afraid 
to invite dangerous confidences, merely smiled and 
said: "Who is not in love with you?" Walpole 
came across her one day, standing in the hall at 
Richmond with a baby in her arms, and said to her : 
" That is a very pretty boy, Lady Deloraine ; whose 
is it?" She replied: "Mr. Windham's (her hus- 
band's) upon my honour. But," she added with a 


significant laugh, " I will not promise whose the 
next shall be." She moreover told several people 
that the King had been importunate a long time, 
but that she had held out from motives of virtue, 
which were not at all appreciated, as her husband, 
she was sure, did not care. 

Whether there was anything between Lady 
Deloraine and the King or not, the Queen followed 
her usual policy of ignoring the intrigue. She 
knew what her husband was, and made allowances. 
Perhaps, too, she was glad that he should seek 
distraction from Madame Walmoden, though she 
knew that he had not forgotten her. Walpole had 
told her of an incident which showed how the King 
still esteemed his Hanoverian mistress above Lady 
Deloraine. He ordered Walpole one day to buy a 
hundred lottery tickets, and to charge the amount, 
; 1,000, to the secret service fund instead of his 
civil list. Walpole did as he was bid and told 
Hervey of this iniquitous transaction, which he said 
was for the benefit of the King's favourite. Hervey 
thought he meant Lady Deloraine and expressed 
his surprise at the largeness of the sum, saying he 
" did not think his Majesty went so deep there ". 
Walpole replied : " No, I mean the Hanover 
woman. You are right to imagine he does not go 
so deep to his lying fool here. He will give her a 
couple of the tickets and think her generously used." 

The relations between the Prince of Wales and 
his parents went from bad to worse as the months 
wore on, but they were not even yet strained to 


breaking point. Acting on the advice of his sup- 
porters the Prince still occasionally attended levies 
and drawing-rooms. The King treated him as 
though he were not in the room ; the Queen, though 
she recognised his presence, did not speak to him 
more than was absolutely necessary, and in private 
she declared that she was afraid to do so lest he 
should distort her words. The Prince still resided 
in his father's house, making his headquarters at 
St. James's Palace. But when the King and Queen 
moved to Hampton Court for the summer he had 
perforce to go there too, but much against his will. 
Though he and the Princess lived under the same 
roof as the King and Queen they saw little of them, 
and only met them in public. 

In July the Prince wrote a letter to the Queen 
announcing that the Princess was with child. The 
Queen congratulated him and the Princess on the 
auspicious event, and asked the latter some maternal 
questions about her condition. To all these the 
Princess made the same answer " I do not know ". 
The Queen had doubts, which were shared by her 
daughters, as to whether the Princess was really 
pregnant. Both she and the King considered the 
Prince quite capable of palming off a spurious child 
on them, and their prejudices against him were so 
strong that they half believed he was plotting to do 
so. They had no wish that the Princess of Wales 
should bear children ; it was generally thought that 
she would not. If she did it would destroy the 
remaining chance that their beloved younger son, 


William, might one day succeed to the crown. The 
Prince, who resented these suspicions, wished that 
his wife should be confined at St. James's, but the 
King determined that the event should take place at 
Hampton Court. The Queen declared that "at 
her labour I positively will be, let her lie in where 
she will," but again expressed herself sceptical about 
the Princess being confined at all, as she could see 
no signs of it. The Prince, on the other hand, who 
knew and resented these suspicions, vowed that his 
mother should not be present at the birth, and that 
the child should be born at St. James's. He kept 
his word. 

The court was then at Hampton Court for the 
summer, and the Prince and Princess of Wales were 
there occupying their own suite of apartments. On 
Sunday, July 3ist, the Princess dined in public 
with the King and Queen, but on retiring to her 
apartments she was seized with pain, and symptoms 
of premature confinement became manifest. Not- 
withstanding the danger, which perhaps the Prince 
did not realise, as the Princess's confinement was 
not expected for two months, he determined that she 
should at once be secretly removed to St. James's. 
He ordered his coach to be brought round quickly. 
It was nearly dark, and the Prince's apartments were 
in another wing of the palace to those of the King 
and Queen, so they were able to make their exit 
without being seen. The poor Princess was carried 
downstairs, though she begged her husband to let 
her remain where she was, and Lady Archibald 


Hamilton added her entreaties, but to no effect. 
The Prince obstinately insisted on his wife getting 
into the coach with Lady Archibald and one of 
her women. The Prince got in after them, and 
gave the order to drive with all speed to St. James's, 
and once outside the gates of Hampton Court they 
went at full gallop towards London. The Princess 
moaned in agony, but the Prince kept saying : 
" Courage, courage," telling her by way of consola- 
tion that it would all be over in a minute. They 
arrived at St. James's Palace about ten o'clock : 
there was nothing ready for them, as they were 
not expected. The Princess, shrieking with pain, 
was carried upstairs and put to bed, and, there being 
no sheets in the palace, a pair of table-cloths had to 
make shift instead. Within half-an-hour she was 
prematurely delivered of a girl child. 1 

Meanwhile at Hampton Court, the King and 
Queen, all unsuspecting, passed their evening as 
usual : the King played commerce below stairs with 
Lady Deloraine and the maids of honour ; the 
Queen and the Princess Amelia played quadrille 
above ; the Princess Caroline and Lord Hervey had 
their nightly game of cribbage. The party broke 
up, and all retired at eleven, without having heard 
a whisper of what had been going on in the Prince 
of Wales's apartments. The King and Queen had 
gone to bed and to sleep, when about half-past one 
they were aroused by the arrival of a courier from 

1 The Princess thus born was afterwards Duchess of Brunswick, 
and died in London, March, 1813. 


St. James's Palace with a message that brooked no 
delay. The Queen, startled at being aroused at so 
unusual an hour, asked whether the palace was on 
fire, but Mrs. Tichburne, her dresser, in fear and 
trembling explained that the Prince of Wales had 
sent to let their Majesties know that the Princess 
was in labour. The Queen jumped up immediately 
and cried out : " My God ! My night-gown, I'll go 
to her this moment." " Your night-gown, madam," 
said the worthy Tichburne, " aye, and your coaches 
too; the Princess is at St. James's." "Are you 
mad ? " exclaimed the Queen, " or are you asleep, 
my good Tichburne ? you dream." Then Mrs. 
Tichburne told the whole tale of the Princess's flight, 
so far as she understood it. The King raged and 
swore, and began to abuse the Queen, saying : 
" You see, now, with all your wisdom, how they 
have outwitted you. This is all your fault. There 
will be a false child put upon you, and how will 
you answer for it to all your children ? This has 
been fine care and fine management for your son, 
William ; he is mightily obliged to you ; and as 
for Anne, I hope she will come over and scold you 
herself; I am sure you deserve anything she can 
say to you." 

The Queen made no answer, but dressed quickly, 
ordered her coach, and set out for London at once, 
accompanied by the Princesses Amelia and Caroline, 
and attended by some of the lords in waiting. She 
arrived at St. James's Palace about four o'clock, 
left her coach, and those who came with her, at the 


outer gate, walked alone across the courtyard and 
made her way upstairs as fast as she could. At the 
top of the stairs she met the Prince in his night- 
gown. He dutifully kissed her hand and cheek, 
and then with scarcely concealed malice told her 
that she was too late, the Princess had given birth 
to a daughter. The Queen expressed neither sur- 
prise nor annoyance, but asked why the news of 
the child's birth had not been sent to her before 
she started from Hampton Court. The Prince said 
that he had written letters to the King and Queen 
directly he could ; the messenger was already on 
the road and she would doubtless find them on her 
return. The Queen made no further remark, but 
asked to see the mother and child. The Prince 
then conducted her into the Princess's chamber. 
The Queen kissed the Princess and wished her joy, 
but expressed her fear that she had suffered greatly. 
The Princess dutifully replied : " Not at all ; it is 
nothing". Lady Archibald Hamilton brought the 
child, which was wrapped up in an old red mantle 
and some napkins, no proper clothes having yet been 
found for it, nor any nurse. The Queen kissed the 
babe and said : " The good God bless you, poor 
little creature ; you have come into a troublesome 
world ". 

The Prince then began a long account of what 
had happened. The Queen listened to him without 
interruption, but when he had quite finished, she 
said that it was a miracle the Princess and the child 
had not been killed. She added that he and his 

VOL. II. 22 


wife were a couple of young fools who could not 
have been aware of the danger they ran, and then 
she turned to Lady Archibald and said : " But for 
you, my Lady Archibald, who have had ten children, 
that with your experience, and at your age, you 
should suffer these people to act with such a mad- 
ness, I am astonished ; and wonder how you could, 
for your own sake as well as theirs, venture to be 
concerned in such an expedition ". To this Lady 
Archibald made no reply, except to turn to the 
Prince and say: "You see, sir". The Queen then 
embraced the Princess, wished her good-bye, and 
told her that if there was anything she wanted she 
had only to name it and it would be done. The 
Princess, who had evidently been coached in her 
part, from between her table-cloths thanked her 
Majesty, but said she wanted nothing. The Prince 
waited on his mother down the stairs, still in his 
night-gown, and would have escorted her to her 
coach, had she not insisted that he should not 
accompany her out of doors in such a plight. The 
Queen walked across the courts by herself to where 
the coaches were waiting. She told the Princesses 
that she had no doubt the child was genuine, but 
she added : "If instead of this poor, little, ugly she- 
mouse there had been a brave, large, fat, jolly boy, 
I should not have been cured of my suspicions ". 

As soon as the Queen had set out from Hampton 
Court the King sent express messengers to Walpole 
and Lord Harrington, requesting them to hasten to 
St. James's to be present at the birth of the Prince's 


child. They went thither with all speed, but like 
the Queen arrived too late. Walpole returned to 
Hampton Court in the course of the morning, and 
had a conference with the King and Queen. He 
agreed that the insult was intolerable, and must be 
punished. Walpole had learnt his lesson, and was 
now wholly against the Prince. So far from 
attempting to moderate the King's ire he rather 
sought to inflame it, and declared that if the King 
and Queen did not conquer him he would conquer 
them. After much discussion and much strong 
language, the King sent the Prince a written mes- 
sage, complaining of the "deliberate indignity" 
offered to him and the Queen, which he " resented 
in the highest degree". The King was for taking 
more drastic measures at once, but Walpole per- 
suaded him to defer them until the Princess was out 
of danger, and then strike. The King would gain 
by waiting a little he said, for as soon as it was 
known that the Prince had been guilty of this 
grievous act of folly his popularity would wane. In 
this he was right, for no sooner did the news get 
abroad than the public, to a man, condemned the 
Prince's conduct in risking his wife's life and that of 
his unborn child, in order to insult his father and 
mother. His friends who had supported him 
through thick and thin in his endeavour to get a 
separate grant from Parliament were unable to find 
an excuse for this rash and inconsiderate step, though 
they urged in palliation the Prince's natural pique 
at the surveillance to which he had been sub- 


jected, and his ignorance of the danger the Princess 
had run. 

The Prince, who soon became aware that he had 
made a false step, called a council of his chief sup- 
porters, including Carteret, Chesterfield and Pulteney, 
who frankly told him that he had put himself in the 
wrong, and the best thing he could do would be to 
patch up a reconciliation with the King and Queen. 
In view of this the Prince, a few days later, thought 
he would go to Hampton Court to pay his respects 
to the King and Queen, but the King, having got 
ear that he was coming, sent him a message saying 
he would not see him. Thereupon ensued a lengthy 
correspondence, in which the Prince would not own 
himself in the wrong. He expressed himself deeply 
grieved at having aroused the King's anger, but in- 
sinuated that the Queen was really responsible for 
the strained relations between himself and his father. 
He thus struck a note which was taken up by the 
Prince's court, and afterwards by the great body of 
his supporters. Afraid to strike at the King directly, 
they threw all the blame upon the Queen, who they 
declared had first artfully inflamed the King's anger 
against his son, and now tried to keep him inflexible. 
It was a cowardly thing to do, as well as unjust, for 
the Queen had always been on the side of peace ; 
but the Prince hated his mother because the King 
had appointed her Regent instead of him, and the 
Opposition hated the Queen because she had shown 
herself, through storm and shine, the firm supporter 
of Walpole. In pursuance of this policy, when the 


Queen, nine days after her daughter-in-law's con- 
finement, paid her another visit at St. James's, the 
Prince treated his mother with marked discourtesy ; 
he avoided meeting her at the main entrance, and 
only received her at the door of the Princess's bed- 
chamber ; he refused to speak a word to her during 
the whole visit, though the Queen was in the room 
with him and her daughter-in-law more than an 
hour. He could not help escorting her to her coach 
when she left, but did it all in dumb show ; yet when 
they reached the coach door, and he saw that a con- 
siderable crowd had assembled, he knelt down in 
the muddy street and kissed her hand with every 
demonstration of respect. At this hyprocrisy, as 
Horace Walpole says, " her indignation must have 
shrunk, into contempt." 1 The Queen was deeply 
wounded by her son's treatment, and after that she 
paid no more visits to St. James's. 

These acts irritated the King beyond endurance, 
and even the Queen was stung out of her usual calm 
by the attacks made upon her. But anger and 
strong language availed nothing. The Prince was 
heir to the throne, and an heir to a throne is never 
without friends. In Frederick's case his friends 
were all the Patriots ; even Carteret, finding his over- 
tures to the Queen led to nothing, had gone back 
to him. The triumph of the Prince would mean the 

1 Walpole's Reminiscences, vol. iv. He repeats the same story in 
his Memoirs, vol. i. Horace Walpole confuses the Queen's second 
visit with her first, otherwise his account tallies with that of Lord 
Hervey Memoirs, vol. ii. 


triumph of the Opposition too, the defeat of the 
King and Queen, the defeat of the Government. 
Walpole knew this, and realised that if any recon- 
ciliation were brought about he would probably have 
to go. It was obviously to the advantage of the 
Royal Family that these quarrels should end, and 
Lord Hardwicke, the Lord Chancellor, earnestly 
strove to bring about a reconciliation. But Walpole 
advised the King against it, an easy task, for the 
King's inclination was all for revenge. Another 
message, an ultimatum, was therefore composed and 
sent by the King, denouncing the Prince's conduct in 
the strongest terms, and ending, " It is my pleasure 
that you leave St. James's with all your family ". 1 
This was equivalent to a total separation. 

The Prince received the King's message without 
comment, and, as the orders were peremptory, two 
days later he and the Princess removed from St. 
James's Palace to Kew. All communications between 
the two courts were now broken off, and shortly after- 
wards the Prince took up his residence at Norfolk 
House, St. James's Square, which immediately be- 
came a rival court and the centre of the Opposition, 
much as Leicester House had been in the reign of 
George the First. 2 The court of Norfolk House, 
though small in numbers, was not without brilliancy. 
The Prince had wit and pleasing manners and was 

1 Message of the King to the Prince of Wales, loth September, 


2 The parallel became closer when Frederick Prince of Wales 
removed to Leicester House. 


ably seconded by his young and beautiful consort. 
His love of letters attracted many of the ablest writers, 
and his political views drew around him the rising 
men among the Tories. The Prince of Wales's 
court became a focus of all the talents and a 
rallying place of the younger Tories, and as time 
went on, it influenced considerably the course of 
English politics. A generation was growing up in 
the Tory party which knew not the Stuarts, and 
saw a way of overthrowing the Whig ascendency, 
not by the forcible restoration of James, but in 
the peaceable accession of Frederick. They were 
doomed to wander many years in the wilderness of 
opposition before their dreams came true ; and the 
Whig domination was at last beaten down, not by 
Frederick, but by his son. But at this time Frederick's 
accession to the throne seemed comparatively near 
at hand. It was in view of his future reign, and as a 
satire on his father's, that Bolingbroke composed his 
magnificent essay, The Ideal of a Patriot King, 
a sublime conception of government, but impossible 
to be acted upon, because it presupposed the exist- 
ence of a monarch of almost superhuman wisdom 
and virtues. Such an ideal could not be realised 
in Frederick, nor was it realised in his son, George 
the Third. 




THE Queen's health had been breaking for some 
time past, and nothing but her strength of will and 
determination not to yield kept her up. She had 
never really enjoyed good health since she became 
Queen. The last ten years had been a continual 
struggle against physical weakness ; in the news- 
sheets of the day mention is frequently made of the 
Queen's indisposition, and nearly always from a 
different cause. The list of her ailments and the 
barbarous and violent remedies resorted to makes 
one wonder how she survived so long gout, ague, 
rash, pleurisy, chills, colic everything, in short, but 
her secret, and most dangerous, malady was recorded. 
But the Queen seldom retired for more than a day 
or two, she would never admit that she was really ill, 
and was extremely angry if any one said that she was 
so. The King disliked to have sick people about him, 
and resented the Queen's ailments as though they 
were invented for his special annoyance. Caroline 
was aware of this peculiarity on the part of her 
spouse, and would endure agonies rather than let 


him suspect that anything was wrong with her. 
She was a great sufferer from gout, which sometimes 
crippled her so much that she could not move without 
pain, but so absolute was her devotion to the King, 
that she would plunge her swollen legs into ice-cold 
water, in order that she might not fail to accompany 
him on his daily walks. These desperate remedies 
no doubt did her infinite harm. But she had another 
malady too, which " false delicacy," as some de- 
scribed it, though it would be more correct to say 
" wifely devotion," made her conceal. At the birth 
of her youngest child, Princess Louisa, in 1724, 
Caroline suffered a slight internal rupture. Her 
husband noticed it at the time, but she said it was 
nothing, and would pass. Later he taxed her with 
it again, and advised her to consult a doctor, but 
she again denied it, this time with so much vexa- 
tion, declaring that he sought a pretext for neglecting 
her, that the King promised never to mention it 
again. For a time the malady seemed to grow 
better, or, at any rate, to remain dormant, but of late 
it had been troubling her again, and neglect and 
concealment made it go from bad to worse. 

The Queen took infinite pains to hide the nature 
of her illness, frequently consulting doctors, and yet 
leaving them in ignorance of her real malady. For 
years, amid the splendours of her court, in the 
plenitude of her power, Caroline had carried with her 
this dread secret, and maintained a smiling face to the 
world. From time to time she must have suffered 
agonies, but she bore them with Spartan heroism. 


It was only during the King's absences at Hanover 
that she indulged in the luxury of a collapse, and then 
she ascribed her weakness to the gout, or any cause 
but the real one. She held drawing-rooms as usual, 
but more than once she had to be wheeled into the 
presence-chamber in a chair, physically unable to 
stand. Of one of these breakdowns Peter Went- 
worth writes : 

" The Queen has been so ill. I went every day 
to the backstairs and had the general answer that 
she was better, but I knew when they told me true 
and when not, and was often in great pain for my 
good Queen, but it is not the fashion to show any 
at Court. The first day that she came out into her 
drawing-room she told a lady, whom I stood behind, 
that she had really been very bad and dangerously 
ill, but it was her own fault, for she had a fever a 
fortnight before she came from Kensington, but she 
kept it a secret, for she resolved to appear on the 
King's birthday. She owned she did wrong, and 
said she would do so no more, upon which I made 
her a bow, as much as to say, I hoped she would do 
as she then said. I believe she understood me for 
she smiled upon me." l 

In some way the Queen connected the decline of 
her influence over the King, and his passion for the 
Walmoden, with the failing of her physical health, 
and she struggled against it to the death. It is no 
exaggeration to say that she would have died rather 

J The Hon. Peter Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford, London, 
December loth, 1734. 


than let her malady become known in fact her con- 
cealment of it led to her death. This secret anxiety 
gnawing always at her heart, combined with the 
worries she had to endure from without and within, 
told upon her strength. For the last two or three 
years she had been on the rack daily, a martyr to 
physical and mental anguish. The infidelity of the 
King, the unfilial conduct of the Prince of Wales, 
the hard work inseparable from her position, and the 
effort at all costs to keep a brave front to the world, 
told upon her health, until at last she could bear 
the strain no longer. It was in vain that she sought 
relaxation in her best-loved pursuits ; the haunting 
fear never left her day or night. 

Soon after the Prince of Wales had been 
turned out of St. James's Palace the King and 
Queen removed there from Hampton Court, and 
remained over the King's birthday (October 3Oth). 
The Queen busied herself much this autumn in 
fitting up a new library which she had built in the 
stable yard of St. James's, on the site now occupied 
by Stafford House. It was a large handsome build- 
ing constructed on the most approved principles. 
The Queen was now furnishing it with cases and 
books ; she had ordered busts of philosophers and 
learned men to be placed in the corridor, and had 
requested the English ambassadors abroad to collect 
for her the best Spanish, French and Italian books 
to make her collection as complete as possible. 
When all was finished she hoped to hold there 
the intellectual tournaments in which she delighted, 


and make the library serve the double purpose of a 
lecture room. She used to go there nearly every 
day to personally superintend the work, and it was 
in this library on the morning of Wednesday, No- 
vember 9th, that she finally broke down. 

The Queen was giving some directions to the 
workmen when suddenly she was seized with violent 
internal pains. She made her way back to St. James's 
Palace as quickly as she could, and went to bed. 
At two o'clock there was to be a drawing-room ; the 
King proposed that it should be postponed, but 
the Queen, who did not wish it to be known that 
she was ill, declared that she felt much better, got 
up, dressed, and went to the drawing-room. She 
smiled and bowed as usual, and even chatted to 
some of the company, though she was suffering 
extremely, and could scarcely stand. The King 
noticed nothing amiss, and went on talking for a 
long time about some new farce that was the 
fashion of the hour. At last he dismissed the court, 
reminding the Queen, who was by this time in 
agony, that she had not spoken to the premier 
duchess, the Duchess of Norfolk. The Queen, as 
she was going out, went to the duchess, and apolo- 
gised for the omission with her usual graciousness. 
On returning to her room she again went to bed. 

The King thought it was only a temporary 
indisposition, in which belief she humoured him, 
and he went off in the evening to play cards with 
Lady Deloraine, after having sent for the German 
court physician to look after the Queen. Every 



hour the Queen became worse, but she was still 
bent on concealing the cause of her illness, and 
declared that she had the colic. She asked Lord 
Hervey, who was in attendance, what she should 
do to ease her pain. Lord Hervey, who was a 
chronic invalid, and made himself a worse one by 
taking quack nostrums, recommended her a concoc- 
tion called " snake root ". But the German physi- 
cian would not let her take it, and, as the Queen was 
now in a high fever, he called in another doctor. 
In ignorance of her malady, the doctors dosed 
their unfortunate patient with a number of horrible 
decoctions, such as " Daffy's Elixir," " Sir Walter 
Raleigh's Cordial," usquebaugh, and so forth, 
and then, as the only effect of these remedies was 
to make her violently sick, they sent for Ranby, 
the surgeon, who bled her into the bargain. The 
Princess Caroline, who had sat with her mother 
all day, now declared herself seized with rheumatic 
pains, and Lord Hervey, who was in his element, 
dosed her with another nostrum called " Ward's 
Pill," which, it is not surprising to hear, made her 
worse. The King came back at his usual hour, 
and was much upset at finding the Queen so ill. 
By way of showing his anxiety he lay on her bed 
all night, outside the coverlet, with the result that he 
spoilt his night's rest and hers too. 

The Queen was again bled in the morning 
(Thursday), and the fever having abated a little it 
was thought that she was better. But she knew that 
she was not, for she said to the Princess Caroline, who 


was suffering from the effects of the pill : " Poor Caro- 
line, you are very ill too ; we shall soon meet again 
in another place ". At her request the King held a 
drawing-room as usual, and the Princess Amelia took 
her mother's place at court. So the day wore on. 
Towards the evening the Queen got worse, and in her 
agony cried aloud to the Princess Caroline : " I have 
an ill which nobody knows of". But, as she gave no 
particulars, this was regarded merely as a vague 
statement. Two more physicians were called in, and 
further added to the illustrious patient's discomfort 
by ordering blisters and aperients, both without 
effect. The King was now greatly concerned, and 
sat up all night with his wife. 

The next morning (Friday) it was impossible to 
conceal any longer the fact that the Queen was 
seriously ill. The news reached the ears of the 
Prince of Wales, who was then at Kew, and he 
immediately hurried up to London to inquire after 
the Queen. The King had an idea that something 
of the kind would happen, and gave strict orders 
that if the Prince came he was not to be admitted. 
About an hour after the King had thus expressed 
himself, the Prince sent Lord North to St. James's 
with a message saying that he was much grieved to 
hear of the Queen's illness, and asking to be 
allowed to come and see her. But the King not only 
refused to let him come, but returned an answer 
requesting him to send no more messages to St. 
James's. " This," said he, " is like one of the scoun- 
drel's tricks, it is just of a piece of his kneeling down 


in the dirt before the mob to kiss her hand at the 
coach door, when she came from Hampton Court to 
see the Princess, though he had not spoken one 
word to her during the whole visit. I always hated 
the rascal, but now I hate him worse than ever. He 
wants to come and insult his poor dying mother, but 
she shall not see him." Later in the day, the Queen, 
who had no knowledge of what had passed, said to 
the King that she wondered the Prince had not 
asked to see her yet, as she felt sure that he would 
do so, because it would look well before the world. 
The King then told her of what had passed and how 
he had forbidden the Prince to come, or send any 
more messages, though, he added, if the Queen really 
wished to see her son she could do so. But the 
Queen emphatically declared that she had no such 
wish, and the incident ended. The Prince continued 
to send messengers to inquire throughout his mother's 

The next day (Saturday) the Queen grew worse 
every hour, yet she still, with a stubbornness which 
it is impossible to understand, concealed the true 
nature of her malady. Towards evening the King, 
who was greatly worried, whispered to her that he 
believed her illness came from rupture, but she 
denied it with great warmth and peevishness. How- 
ever, the King sent for the surgeon, Ranby, and 
confided his fears to him. Ranby at once examined 
the Queen, and even then she carried her desire 
for concealment so far as to declare that she felt the 
pain in a different part of her body to that where it 


really was. But the surgeon was no longer to be de- 
ceived, and having discovered the rupture, he took the 
King aside and told him of it, adding that the Queen 
was in the utmost danger. The Queen started up in 
bed in a state of great excitement, but when the 
surgeon told her bluntly that it was no longer possible 
to conceal the truth, she turned her face to the wall 
and wept silently these were the only tears she 
shed throughout her illness. As there was no 
time to be lost, two more surgeons were called 
in, and the same evening an operation was per- 
formed. It did not give relief, nor did the doctors 
hold out much hope, concealment and neglect had 
made the ill past remedy. 

The Queen passed a troubled night, and early 
the next morning (Sunday) she complained that 
her wound gave her great pain. The surgeons 
were summoned, and discovered that it had already 
begun to mortify. The dreaded news was im- 
mediately conveyed to the King, and it was feared 
the Queen could not live many hours. The King 
came at once, followed by the Duke of Cumberland 
and the Princesses Amelia, Caroline, Mary and 
Louisa. The Queen took leave of her weeping 
husband and children, and asked them not to leave 
her until she died. To the Princess Caroline she 
commended the care of her younger children, and 
she bade her son William be a support to his 
father, and try to make up for the sorrow and 
vexation caused by his elder brother. Of the King 
she took a most affectionate farewell, telling him that 


he knew all her thoughts, and thanking him for his 
love and trust of her. She commended to his care 
all those who were dependent on her, from the 
highest to the lowest. She then drew from her 
finger the ruby ring he had given her at the Coro- 
nation, and put it upon his, saying : " This is the 
last thing I have to give you : naked I came to you, 
naked I go from you. I had everything I ever 
possessed from you, and to you everything I have 
I return." She added one word of advice, which 
she said she had often given to him when she was in 
health that after her death he should marry again. 
At this the King burst into sobs and tears, and 
vowed he would not, saying : " Non ! Non ! j'aurai 
des maitresses ".* The Queen replied wearily : " Mon 
Dieu ! cela n'empeche pas ". 2 It was the only hint of 
reproach that ever crossed her lips, if we except that 
other bitter cry wrung from her in the extremity of 
her anguish years before : " I have never lived a 
day without suffering ". Perhaps the King felt some 
pangs of remorse, for he wept over her bitterly ; 
kissed her again and again, and uttered many en- 
dearing words. He had reason to weep, for he was 
losing the only being in the world who loved him, 
and loved him with a devotion that was as absolute 
as it was unaccountable. 

1 George the Second kept his word. He never married again, 
though he survived the Queen thirty-three years. But within a year 
of Caroline's death he brought Madame de Walmoden over to 
England, and later created her Countess of Yarmouth. 

2 Vide Hervey's Memoirs. Also letter of Colonel William Douglas 
to Lord Carlisle, izth November, 1737 (Carlisle MSS.). 

VOL. II. 23 


After this trying scene the Queen fell into a doze 
and it was thought that she would pass away in her 
sleep, but, to every one's surprise, she woke up 
feeling better. She now declared her belief that 
she would last until Wednesday, saying that all the 
great events of her life had happened on that day ; 
she had been born on a Wednesday, married on a 
Wednesday, had her first child on a Wednesday, 
heard the news of the late King's death on a Wed- 
nesday, and had been crowned on a Wednesday, 
and therefore she would die on a Wednesday. This 
was the only little touch of superstition in her char- 
acter. Later in the day the surgeons again examined 
the wound, and, finding that the mortification had 
not spread, declared that perhaps after all she would 
recover. 1 This revived hope in all breasts but that of 
the Queen, who knew it to be only a reprieve. " My 
heart will not break yet," she said. 

Her reprieve gave her time to see her trusted 
friend and minister, Sir Robert Walpole, who ar- 
rived in haste on Monday morning from Houghton, 
whither he had gone ten days previously to bury his 
wife. In consequence of his mourning he had not 
been sent for officially, but when he heard the news 
of the Queen's danger he came as fast as post horses 
could bring him. The Queen had asked for him 
once or twice, and when the King heard that Wal- 
pole had arrived, and was in the ante-chamber, he at 
once gave him audience. Walpole was in great 

1 Letter of Lady A. Irwin to Earl of Carlisle, ryth November, 
1737 (Carlisle MSS.). 


disorder and distress, for he had been travelling hard 
and fast. Despite his great bulk, he knelt down 
awkwardly and kissed the King's hand, and with 
tears, asked: "How is the Queen?" The King 
said: "Come and see yourself, my good Sir Rob- 
ert," and carried him off to the Queen's bedside. 
The interview was very short, but the Queen's words 
were to the point. " My good Sir Robert, you see 
me in a very indifferent situation. I have nothing 
to say to you but to recommend the King, my 
children, and the kingdom to your care." * 

The Queen lingered throughout Monday and 
Tuesday, and even the dreaded Wednesday, in much 
the same condition. On Thursday a change took 
place for the worse and she suffered much pain, but 
she bore it all without a murmur and had a smile 
and a cheery word for many. She even joked at 
Ranby, the surgeon, when he was dressing her 
wound, saying : " Before you begin, let me have a 
full view of your comical face " ; and whilst he was 
cutting her she said : " What would you give now 
to be cutting up your wife ? " 2 The Queen under- 
went many of these cuttings, but she bore all with 
great fortitude, and if sometimes a groan escaped 
her she would beg the surgeons not to heed and 

1 Hervey's Memoirs. According to another account, she said : 
" I hope you will never desert the King, but continue to serve him 
with your usual fidelity," and pointing to her husband, she added : 
" I recommend his Majesty to you ". Mahon's History, vol. ii. Vide 
also Horace Walpole's Reminiscences. 

2 Letter of Hon. Peter Wentworth to the Earl of Strafford, ist 
December, 1737. Ranby was then seeking a divorce. 


even apologised to them for some peevish expres- 
sions. Her patience and courage were marvellous, 
and her mind remained calm and collected. 

All this time the chaplain's services had not 
been required. Several of the bishops remarked 
on it, and many about the court whispered that it 
was not right that the Queen should remain without 
the consolations of religion. At last representations 
were made to Walpole, who irreligiously shrugged 
his shoulders. But he asked the Princess Amelia 
to acquaint the King and Queen with what was 
being said, and suggested that the Archbishop of 
Canterbury (Dr. Potter) should be sent for. The 
Princess Amelia, who knew her mother's views on 
religious matters, at first demurred to taking the 
message, but afterwards went to the King, who went 
to the Queen, who immediately consented. The 
Archbishop came, and continued afterwards to pray 
by her bedside, morning and evening. But the 
prayers of the Archbishop were far from satisfying 
the scruples of the orthodox, who further required 
that her Majesty should receive the Holy Com- 

How far the Archbishop spoke to the Queen on 
this solemn subject it is impossible to say. The 
matter was one between the royal sufferer and her 
God. Caroline was, in the wide sense of the word, 
a religious woman, one whose religion was not on 
her lips but in her life ; she had a firm faith in God 
and trust in His mercy, but she was not, and never 
had been, an orthodox Christian. In health, because 


she conceived it to be her duty as Queen-Consort, 
she had scrupulously conformed to the rites of the 
Church of England, but now, in the presence of death, 
she felt it necessary to be sincere in her convictions 
and dispense with them. The Archbishop, who 
was a godly and tolerant prelate, and who knew the 
Queen's views, probably forbore to press her on the 
matter, and we may take it for granted that the 
Queen did not receive the last sacrament. It was 
rumoured about the court that the Archbishop had 
celebrated the Communion of the Sick in the royal 
chamber, but at the last moment the Queen refused 
to receive. When the Archbishop came out of the 
room he was surrounded by courtiers and ladies in 
waiting in the ante-chambers, who eagerly asked 
him, " My Lord, has the Queen received ? " The 
Archbishop eluded the question, and rebuked them 
by saying " The Queen is in a very heavenly dis- 
position ". Some, more officious than the rest, told 
him that it was his duty to reconcile the Queen to 
the Prince of Wales. The Archbishop replied that, 
whenever the Queen had spoken to him about the un- 
happy divisions in the Royal Family, she had spoken 
with such good sense that it would be impertinent 
for him to offer her advice on the subject. By some 
authorities it is stated that the Queen, at the last, 
forgave the Prince, and one goes so far as to declare 
that " She sent her blessing and forgiveness to her 
son, and told Sir Robert [Walpole] that she would 
have sent for him with pleasure, but prudence for- 
bade the interview as it might irritate and embarrass 


the King". 1 On the other hand Hervey is silent on 
this point, though he makes the Queen several times 
during her illness express resentment against her 
son, which was perhaps natural, as his insults were 
very recent. Her enemies afterwards declared that 
she refused the Prince her forgiveness, though he 
sent again and again to humbly beseech her bless- 
ing. There is a conflict of testimony here, and the 
Queen may well have the benefit of the doubt, for 
all her life she had laboured in the cause of peace, 
and striven to prevent discord in the Royal Family. 
The Queen still lingered on, her brain and facul- 
ties clear till the last. But the King's mind was 
giving way under the strain. He was conscious of 
this to some extent, for he told his pages that if he 
were unreasonable in chiding and swearing at them 
they were not to mind it. Lord Hervey, in his 
grim and ghastly account of the Queen's deathbed, 
mocks at the lamentations of the King, and jeers 
at his behaviour. Yet there is every reason to 
believe that his grief was absolutely sincere, and 
in the presence of so great a sorrow these gibes 
should surely have been stilled. It was all very 
human and very pitiful. The King was not one 
of those who could suffer and be still, his grief was 
noisy and garrulous, and he talked incessantly 
during those trying days to all whom he met of 
the Queen's many virtues and the great and irrep- 
arable loss her death would be to him and the 

1 Coxe's Life.of Walpole. Horace Walpole also makes a state- 
ment to the same effect, though not so definite. 


nation. He said the same to his wife over and over 
again, and they babbled their love together with 
tears and broken words. She knew now that she 
was first with him, had always been first with 
him, and their love was as fresh and fragrant 
as when he wooed her in the rose-gardens of Ans- 
bach long ago. Yet, evidently overwrought by long 
watching and emotion, the King would sometimes 
break off in the middle of his vows of love and 
devotion to chide her in the old peevish fashion. 
Her pain made her very restless, and she complained 
that she could not sleep. " How the devil should 
you sleep," burst forth the King, " when you will 
never lie still a moment ? " or again, when the 
Queen at his bidding lay perfectly still, the King 
would rail at her for looking straight before her, 
" like a calf waiting for its throat to be cut ". But 
Caroline knew better than to blame him for these 
rough words, which were more welcome to her 
than sweetest music. Her wifely obedience never 
failed, even at the last. The doctors said that her 
strength must be kept up, so the King was always 
forcing down her throat all sorts of food and drink. 
The poor Queen would swallow whatever he wished, 
and when he thanked her, she would say : "It is 
the last service I can do you ". But her stomach 
was not so complaisant, and she could only retain 
the food for a few minutes. Then she would bravely 
try again. For her own sake she wished not to 
live ; for his she would fain have done so. 

So the days wore on, the Queen almost apolo- 


gising for being so long in dying. Thursday, 
Friday and Saturday passed without change, but on 
Sunday (November 2Oth, *&3f), tne eleventh day 
of her illness, she grew weaker every hour. About 
ten o'clock in the evening the end came quietly and 
suddenly. Her last word was Pray. The King 
was with her when she passed away, and in an agony 
of grief he kissed the face and hands of the dead 



QUEEN CAROLINE'S funeral took place on the evening 
of Saturday, December I7th (1737), in Westminster 
Abbey. It was her special request that her obse- 
quies should be as quiet and simple as possible, 
and the King respected her wish, though he com- 
manded a general mourning, and arranged every 
detail of the ceremonial. During the month that 
elapsed between the Queen's death and her funeral, 
the body, encased in a lead coffin and an outer 
one of English oak, rested in the chamber wherein 
she died, which was transformed into a chapelle 
ardente for the time being. The walls were hung 
with purple and black, and tall tapers burned night 
and day around the bier. The doors were guarded 
by gentlemen pensioners, with their axes reversed, 
and the King allowed no one to enter the room 
except himself and those who watched by the 

The night before the funeral a brief service was 
held in the death chamber by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, which the King, the Duke of Cumber- 
land, and the Princesses Amelia, Caroline, Mary, 
and Louisa attended. This was the King's farewell 


of all that was mortal of his Queen, for he was too- 
ill, and too much overcome by grief to attend her 
funeral. The service over, the coffin was privately 
conveyed by torchlight from St. James's Palace to- 
the Princes' Chamber adjoining the House of Lords. 
Here the late Queen's pages watched all night, and 
were joined in the morning by her Majesty's maids 
of honour. The body lay in state all that day, 
guarded by twenty gentlemen pensioners. 

At six o'clock in the evening the funeral proces- 
sion started from the Princes' Chamber, and passed 
through Old Palace Yard to the great north door 
of Westminster Abbey, by means of a covered way 
lined throughout with black. Though the funeral 
was officially described as private, the procession 
was a long one, and included the Ministers, the court 
officials, the physicians who attended the Queen in 
her last illness, all those who held places in her house- 
hold, and many peers. Sir Robert Walpole followed 
his royal mistress to her last resting-place. The 
Queen's Chamberlain carried her crown on a black 
velvet cushion, and walked immediately before the 
coffin, which was borne by ten yeomen of the guard, 
and covered " with a large pall of black velvet, lined 
with black silk, with a fine holland sheet, adorned 
with ten large escutcheons painted on satin, under a 
canopy of black velvet ".* Six dukes acted as pall 
bearers, and ten members of the Privy Council bore 
the canopy ; in an equal line on either side marched 
the gentlemen pensioners with their arms reversed. 

1 The Gentleman's Magazine, ijth December, 1737. 


Behind the coffin walked the Princess Amelia as 
chief mourner. She was supported by the Duke of 
Grafton and the Duke of Dorset, and her train was 
born by the Duchess of St. Albans and the Duchess 
of Montagu. The Princess Amelia was followed by 
a long train of ladies, including nearly all the 
duchesses and a large number of other peeresses, 
the late Queen's ladies of the bedchamber, maids 
of honour, and bedchamber women. The chief 
mourner and all the ladies wore long veils of black 
crape. The Dean and Canons of Westminster, 
wearing their copes, and the choir, augmented by 
the choir boys of the Chapel Royal in their habits of 
scarlet and gold, bearing wax tapers in their hands, 
met the coffin at the north door of the Abbey, and 
the .procession wended its way through the north and 
south aisles to Henry the Seventh's Chapel, the choir 
chanting the while the psalm Domine refugium. 
The coffin was rested by the side of the open grave, 
hard by the tomb of Henry the Seventh, and the 
burial service was proceeded with up to the committal 
prayers. The Garter King of Arms then stepped 
forward and proclaimed the late Queen's style and 
titles in a loud voice. 

" Thus it hath pleased Almighty God to take out 
of the transitory life to His Divine mercy the late 
most high, most mighty, and most excellent princess, 
Caroline, by the Grace of God Queen-Consort of the 
most high, most mighty, and most excellent monarch 
George the Second, by the Grace of God King of 
Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the 


Faith, whom God bless and preserve with long life, 
health and honour, and all worldly happiness." 

Then the choir sang the beautiful anthem which 
Handel had composed especially for the occasion : 

" The ways of Zion do mourn, and she is in 
bitterness : all her people sigh and hang down their 
heads to the ground. How are the mighty fallen ! 
she that was great among the nations and princess of 
the provinces. How are the mighty fallen I When 
the ear heard her, then it blessed her : and when the 
eye saw her, it gave witness of her. How are the 
mighty fallen ! she that was great among the nations 
and princess of the provinces. She delivered the poor 
that cried : the fatherless and him that had no helper. 
Kindness, meekness, and comfort were in her tongue. 
If there was any virtue, and if there was any praise, 
she thought on those things. Her body is buried in 
peace, but her name liveth for evermore." * 

When the last notes of the anthem had died away, 
the procession returned to the north door of the 
Abbey in the same order as it had come. The coffin 
under its canopy, with tall tapers burning on either 
side, was left in the Chapel. Later a short service 
was held privately, when it was lowered to the vault 
and placed in the large stone sarcophagus prepared 
for it. 

The King remained inconsolable for many 
months. He saw no one at first but his daughters, 
and when he was compelled to see Wai pole, or 

1 This same anthem was sung at the memorial service in West- 
minster Abbey for Queen Victoria. 



some other Minister, on important business, he could 
talk of nothing but his loss and the great qualities 
of the late Queen. Many thought that he would 
not long survive her ; he seemed completely broken 
down. The genuineness of his sorrow showed itself 
in various ways. By her will the Queen had left 
everything to him, but it transpired that she had little 
to leave except her house at Richmond, her jewels, 
and the obligations she had incurred by her charities. 
When her heart was touched by cases of poverty, 
sickness or sorrow, she would not only relieve im- 
mediate necessities, but often grant pensions for life. 
These pensions it was found amounted to nearly 
; 1 3,000 a year. The King took the full burden on 
his own shoulders. " I will have no one the poorer 
for her death but myself," he said. He also paid 
the salaries of every member of her household until 
he could otherwise provide for them. 

One morning, soon after the Queen's death, he 
woke early and sent for Baron Borgman, one of his 
Hanoverian suite. When he came the King said, 
" I hear you have a picture of the Queen, which she 
gave you, and that it is a better likeness than any 
in my possession. Bring it to me here." Borgman 
brought it to the King, who said it was very like 
her Majesty, and burst into tears. "Put it," he 
said presently, "upon that chair at the foot of my 
bed, and leave me until I ring the bell." Two hours 
passed before he rang, and then he was quite calm. 
"Take the picture away," he said to its owner, " I 
never yet saw a woman worthy to buckle her shoe." 


Some little time later, he was playing cards one 
evening with his daughters. Some queens were 
dealt to him, and no sooner did he pick up the 
cards and perceive them than he burst into tears, 
and was unable to go on with the game. Princess 
Amelia guarded against a repetition of the scene the 
following night by privately ordering all the queens 
to be taken out of the pack. 

The King was very morbid in his grief, and 
much given to dwelling upon the material aspect of 
death. He was very superstitious and a firm believer 
in ghouls and vampires. Lord Went worth gives an 
illustration of this in a letter he wrote to his father, 
Lord Strafford, shortly after the Queen's funeral. 
" Saturday night, between one and two o'clock, 
the King waked out of a dream very uneasy, and 
ordered the vault, where the Queen is, to be broken 
open immediately, and have the coffin also opened ; 
and went in a hackney chair through the Horse 
Guards to Westminster Abbey, and back again to 
bed. I think it is the strangest thing that could be." 
In a subsequent letter he refers to it again : "The 
story about the King was true, for Mr. Wallop 
heard of one who saw him go through the Horse 
Guards on Saturday night with ten footmen before 
the chair. They went afterwards to Westminster 

Thirty-three years later George the Second was 
buried by his Queen's side, and as a last proof of 
his devotion he left orders that one side of her coffin 
should be removed, and one side of his taken away, 


so that their bones should mingle, and in death be 
not divided. 1 

Caroline was widely mourned by all classes of 
her husband's subjects. Even those disaffected 
to the House of Hanover admitted the high 
qualities of the Queen, and the Jacobites tempered 
their judgment, when they remembered that she had 
always been on the side of mercy. Only from the 
Prince of Wales's household and from those who 
supported him came any discordant note, and it 
must be admitted that some of these were very 
discordant indeed. In the eighteenth century per- 
sonal and political hatreds were carried beyond the 
grave, and some of the epigrams and mock epitaphs 
composed by the Queen's enemies after her death 
form anything but pleasant reading. The fact that 
she did not see the Prince of Wales during her last 
illness was seized upon as a pretext for attacking her 

And unforgiving, unforgiven dies ! 

cried Chesterfield with bitter sarcasm, while Pope 
with more subtle irony wrote : 

1 The large stone sarcophagus which contains the remains of 
George the Second and Queen Caroline stands in the middle of a 
vault below Henry the Seventh's chapel in Westminster Abbey. This 
vault was used only for the family of George the Second. But many 
years after it was opened to admit the coffin of a child of the Duke 
of Cumberland. In 1837, when the duke became King of Hanover, 
he decided to remove this coffin to Hanover, and the vault was 
again opened. The two sides that were withdrawn from George 
the Second's and Queen Caroline's coffin respectively, were then 
seen, standing against the wall at the back of their sarcophagus. 


Hang the sad verse on Carolina's urn, 
And hail her passage to the realms of rest. 
All parts perform'd, and all her children blest ! 

But these outbursts were overwhelmed in the spon- 
taneous tribute of affection and respect paid to the 
dead Queen on all sides. Her loss was felt to be 
a national calamity. " The Lord hath taken away 
His anointed with a stroke," cried a preacher, " the 
breath of our nostrils is taken away. The great 
princess is no more under whose shadow we said 
we should be safe, and promised ourselves lasting 
peace she, whom future generations will know as 
Caroline the Illustrious." 1 And indeed the Queen's 
pre-eminent qualities fit her for no lesser epithet. 
Caroline's character was formed on bold and 
generous lines, and her defects only served to bring 
into stronger relief the purity of her life, the loftiness 
of her motives and the excellence of her wisdom. 
She was a good hater but a true friend, patient 
under suffering, strong in adversity, fond of power, 
yet using it always for the good of others. In the 
words which Frederick the Great applied to her 
early mentor the Queen of Prussia, " She had a 
great soul". 

1 Sermon preached on the death of Queen Caroline by the Rev. 
Dr. Crowe, chaplain in ordinary to his Majesty, and Rector of St. 
Botolph's, Bishopsgate. 





The despatches of George Louis, Elector of Hanover, to Privy 

Councillor von Eltz, and the replies thereto, 1705. Preserved 

in the Royal Archives, Hanover. 
The despatches of Poley, sometime English Envoy at the Court 

of Hanover, 1705. State Paper Office, London. 
The despatches of Howe (who succeeded Poley as English Envoy 

at Hanover), 1706-7. State Paper Office, London. 
The despatches of D'Alais (who succeeded Howe as English 

Envoy at Hanover), 1714. State Paper Office. 
Bromley's despatches to Harley, Envoy-Extraordinary to the Court 

of Hanover, and Harley's replies thereto, 1714. State Paper 

Office, London. 
The memorial of the Electress- Dowager and the Elector of 

Hanover to Queen Anne, and the Queen's reply to the 

memorial, 1714. State Paper Office, London. 
The despatches of Lord Clarendon, Envoy-Extraordinary to the 

Court of Hanover, 1714. 
Sundry documents, preserved in the Archives of the Castle of 

Ansbach, relating to the Margraves and the castle, which 

need not be specified. 
Letters from the Hon. Peter Wentworth to his brother Lord 

Strafford, 1711-1737. MSS. Department, British Museum. 

(A few of these were published in 1883.) 
Notes of a conversation with Queen Caroline by Lady Suffolk, 

1734. MSS. Department, British Museum. 
A Memorandum of the Princesses' dresses, etc. MSS. Depart- 
ment, British Museum. 

VOL. II. 24 



La Correspondance de Leibniz avec I ' Electrice Sophie de Bruns- 
wick- Luneburg. Vol. III. 

Geschichte der Deutschen Hofe, Vehse. Vol. XVIII. 

Geschichte von Sachsen, Bottiger Flathe. Vol. II. 

Biographische Denkmaler Varnhagen. Vol. IV. 

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu's Letters and Works. Edited by 
Lord Wharnecliffe. 

The Diary of Mary, Countess Cmvper, Lady of the Bed- 
chamber to the Princess of Wales, 1714-1720. 

Lord Hervey's Memoirs of the Reign of George the Second. Edited 
by John Wilson Croker. 

Lord Mahon's History of England from the Peace of Utrecht, 
Vols. I. and II. 

Coxe's Life of Sir Robert Walpole, Vols. I. and II. 

The Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. IX. 

Horace Walpole's Reminiscences and Works. 

The History of Hampton Court Palace. Orange and Guelph 
Times, Vol. III., by Ernest Law. 

Notes on the Personal Union between England and Hanover, by 
Dr. A. W. Ward. 

Greater London, by Edward Walford. 

The Memoirs of Wilhelmina, Margravine of Baireuth, Translated 
by H.R.H. the Princess Christian. 

The Lockhart Memoirs. 

Colley Gibber's Apology for My Life. 

The Historical Register, 1718. 

Par liamentary Hi story, Vols. VIII. and IX. 

The Criticks : Being Papers of the Times, 1718. 

The Political State of Great Britain, Vol. VIII. 

Sundry Reports of the Historical MSS. Commission, including 
Earl de la Warr's MSS. preserved at Buckhurst, the Duke 
of Marlborough's MSS. at Blenheim, and the Earl of Carlisle's 
MSS. at Castle Howard. 

The Wentworth Papers, 1705-1739. 

The Suffolk Correspondence: Letters to and from Henrietta, 
Countess of Suffolk. 

Hervey's Letter Books, 1651-1750. 

Kemble's State Papers and Correspondence. 


House of Commons' Journal, Vol. XX. 

The Etough Papers. 

The Sundon Correspondence. Memoirs of Viscountess Sundon, 
by Mrs. Thomson. 

The Earl of Bristol's Letter Book, 1651-1750. 

La Correspondance Secrete du Comte de Broglie. 

Les Memoir es de Berwick, Vol. II. 

The Transactions of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland, Vol. I. 

Macpherson's Stuart Papers, Vol. II. 

Dr. King's Anecdotes of My Own Times. 

The Correspondence of Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orleans. 

An Essay Towards the Character of Queen Caroline, by Dr. 
Alured Clarke. 

Wright's England under the House of Hanover. 

Maby's Life of Chesterfield. 

Jesse's Memoirs. 

Our Hanoverian Kings, by B. C. Skottowe. 

Epitaphium Reginae Carolinae, 1737. 

A Particular Account of the Solemnities used at the Coronation of 
His Sacred Majesty King George II. , and his Royal Consort 
Queen Caroline, on Wednesday, \\th October, 1727. London, 

Ceremonial Proceedings at the Private Interment of Queen Caro- 
line, 1737. 

Dix Annees de la Cour de George II., by Vicomte Frolois. Paris, 

The London Gazette, 1714-1737 (official). 

Sundry news-sheets and journals 1714-1737, including: The 
Gentleman's Magazine, The Daily Courant, The Leiden 
Gazette, The Freeholder, The Craftsman, The Daily Post, 
The Weekly Journal, The Daily Journal, The Flying Post, 
Misf s Journal, Brice' s Weekly Journal, The Stamford Mercury, 
The County Journal, The Daily Advertiser, Fog's Weekly 
Journal, Reed's Weekly Journal, The General Evening Post, 
Hookers Miscellany, The Old Whig, etc. 




ALBEMARLE, Lady, 126. 

Amelia, Princess, 94 ; at Bath, 97 ; 

and the Prince of Wales, 217 ; 

at Caroline's funeral, 362. 
Anne, Princess Royal of England, 

93 ; and the Prince of Wales, 

217 ; betrothal, 249 ; marriage, 


Appendix, 369. 
Arbuthnot, Dr., 76. 
Argyll, Duke of, in opposition, 51, 

189 ; and the Church, 149 ; and 

Caroline, 311. 
Atterbury, Prince James's agent in 

Paris, 20 ; death, 143. 
Augusta, Princess of Saxe-Gotha, 

betrothal, 284 ; marriage, 289. 

BALTIMORE, Lord, 214. 

Berkeley, Dr., 179. 

Berkeley, George, 268. 

Berkeley, Lord, resignation, 17. 

Berwick, Duke of, 144. 

Bolingbroke, Viscount, and the 

Patriots, 48 ; and the Prince of 

Wales, 205, 208 ; leaves England, 

Bolton, Duke of, 170 ; in opposition, 

189 ; dismissed, 202. 
Borgman, Baron, 365. 
Bourguait, English Envoy at Berlin, 


Brett, Dr., 245. 
Bristol, Lady, 92. 
Brunswick, Duchess of, 335. 
Buckingham, Duchess of, 144. 
Burlington, Lord, 202. 
Butler, Dr., 179, 229. 

CAROLINE, Queen of England, 3 ; 
Civil List, 12 ; and Schulem- 
burg, 26 ; coronation, 30 ; power 
of, 40 ; and the opposition, 50 ; 

and Windsor, 56, 117; house- 
hold, 70 ; toilet, 75 ; Regent of 
England, 112, 184, 273, 297; 
and the people, 147 ; charities, 
150 ; and vaccination, 154 ; and 
literature, 156 ; and prison re- 
form, 184 ; and the Church, 223 ; 
and Madame de Walmoden, 
314 ; illness, 344 ; death, 360 ; 
funeral, 361. 

Caroline, Princess, 101. 

Carteret, Lord, in opposition, 48, 330. 

Cavendish, Lord James, 126. 

Charles Edward, Prince., 143. 

Chesterfield, Lord, in opposition, 48, 
190 ; Lord Steward of the 
Household, 81 ; dismissed, 202. 

Chevenix, Rev. Charles, 235. 

Clarke, Dr. Alured, 181. 

Clarke, Dr. Samuel, 228. 

Clayton, Dr., 232. 

Clayton, Mrs., 71 ; and the Church, 
231 ; becomes Lady Sundon, 236. 

Clementina, consort of Prince James 
Stuart, 1 8. 

Clinton, Lord, in opposition, 190 ; 
dismissed, 202. 

Cobham, Lord, 202. 

Compton, Sir Spencer, Prime Mini- 
ster, 6 ; created Earl of Wilming- 
ton, 16. 

Croft, Sir Archer, 143. 

Crowe, Dr., 368. 

Cumberland, Duke of, 102. 

D'ELITZ, Madame, 302. 

De Fleury, Cardinal, 13. 

Delaware, Lord, 285. 

Deloraine, Lady, 280 ; and George 

II., 33i- 

De Roussie, Lady Charlotte, 68. 
Doddington, George Budd, 206. 
Dorset, Duchess of, 70. 



Dorset, Duke of, 362. 
Duck, Stephen, 180. 
Duncombe, William, 180. 
Dyves, Dorothy, 235. 

FENTON, Miss, 170. 

Finch, Lord, 103. 

Fleury, Cardinal, 145. 

Frederick, Crown Prince of Denmark, 

Frederick, Hereditary Prince of 
Hesse- Cassel, 104. 

Frederick, Prince of Wales, 86 ; in 
England, go ; in opposition, 203 ; 
and Bolingbroke, 205 ; and Lady 
Diana Spencer, 209 ; escapades, 
210 ; and Miss Vane, 212 ; and 
his sisters, 217 ; betrothal, 284 ; 
marriage, 289 ; and the Patriots, 
326 ; at Norfolk House, 342 ; and 
the Queen, 350. 

GAY, 168. 

George Augustus (George II.), acces- 
sion, 3 ; Civil List, 15 ; and 
George I.'s will, 23 ; coronation, 
30; visit to Hanover, 112, 184, 
2 73> 2 97 I an d the King of 
Prussia, 131 ; and the Church, 
223 ; illness, 325. 

George Louis (George I.), will, 23 ; 
funeral, 29. 

Gibraltar, 115. 

Gibson, Dr., 224. 

Grafton, Duke of, 63 ; and Princess 
Amelia, 95 ; Lord Chamberlain, 
170 ; at Caroline's funeral, 362. 

Grantham, Lord, 119. 

HAMILTON, Lady Archibald, 213 ; and 
the Princess of Wales, 293. 

Harrington, Lord, Secretary of State, 
141 ; and Walpole, 274. 

Harwicke, Lord, 342. 

Hay, created Earl of Inverness by 
Prince James, 18. 

Hervey, Lord, Vice-Chamberlain to 
Caroline, 64 ; duel with Pulteney, 
67 ; and Pope, 173 ; and the royal 
family, 220. 

Hoadley, Bishop, 239. 

Hobart, Sir Henry, raised to peerage, 


Hotham, Special Envoy at Berlin, 

Howard, Mrs., 73 ; and Swift, 164 ; 
becomes Lady Suffolk, 219 ; 
Mistress of the Robes, 219; re- 
signation, 257 ; second marriage, 
268 ; death, 268. 

ISLA, Lord, 191. 

JAMES STUART, Prince, 18. 

KENDAL, Duchess of. (See Schulem- 


Lifford, Lord, 68. 

Lockhart, Prince James's agent for 

Scotland, 20. 
Lome, Colonel, 89. 
Louisa, Princess, 105. 
Lumley, Mr., 126. 
Lytelton, 326. 

MADDOX, Dr., 79. 

Malpas, Lord, dismissed, n; re- 
instated, 1 8. 

Manners, Lady Fanny, 126. 

Mar, Earl of, death, 142. 

Marchmont, Earl of, in opposition, 
190 ; dismissed, 202. 

Marlborough, Duchess of, 93, 144 ; 
and the Prince of Wales, 209 ; 
and Mrs. Clayton, 236. 

Mary, Princess, 104. 

Masham, Lady, 76. 

Meadows, Miss, 72. 

Middleton, Lady, 126. 

Montagu, Lady Mary Wortley, 37 ; 
and vaccination, 154 ; and Pope, 
174 ; and Mrs. Clayton, 236 ; at 
Caroline's funeral, 362. 

Montrose, Duchess of, 38. 

Montrose, Duke of, in opposition, 
189 ; dismissed, 202. 

Murray, created Earl of Dunbar by 
Prince James, 18. 

NASH, " King," 98. 

Newcastle, Duke of, and Princess 

Amelia, 95 ; in office, 141. 
Norfolk, Duchess of, 348. 
North, Lord, 350. 

ONSLOW, Chancellor, 113. 

Orange, Prince of, betrothal, 24g ; 

marriage, 252. 
Orkney, Earl of, 118. 
Orkney, Lady, 37. 
Orrery, Prince James's agent in 

London, 20. 

PELHAM, Henry, 126. 

Pelham, Lady Catherine, 126. 

Pembroke, Lord, 236. 

Pitt, 326. 

Pomfret, Countess of, 69. 



Pomfret, Lord, 128 ; and Mrs. Clay- 
ton, 236. 

Pope, 173. 

Porteous, Captain, 308. 

Portland, Lady, 38. 

Potter, Dr., 356. 

Poyntz, 116. 

Pulteney, head of opposition, 48 ; 
duel with Hervey, 67 ; and the 
Prince of Wales, 327. 

QUEENSBERRY, Duchess of, 169. 

RANBY, 349. 
Raymond, Lord, 150. 
Robertson, 307. 
Robinson, 227. 

ST. ALBANS, Duchess of, 362. 

St. John, Lady, 38. 

Sastot, 87. 

Savage, 180. 

Scarborough, Lord, 44, 196. 

Schulemburg, and George I.'s will, 

25 ; and Caroline, 26 ; death, 28. 
Schutz, 69. 
Scott, Sir Walter, and the Porteous 

Riots, 312. 
Scrivelsby, Lord of the Manor of, 

King's Champion, 35. 
Seeker, Bishop, 229. 
Selwyn', Colonel, 140. 
Seville, Treaty of, 115. 
Shippen, 17. 
Skerrett, Maria, 137. 
Sloane, Sir Hans, 154. 
Somerville, 180. 
Sophie Dorothea, Queen of Prussia, 


Spencer, Lady Diana, 209. 
Spense, Betty, 126. 
Stair, Earl of, in opposition, 190 ; 

dismissed, 202. 
Stanhope, English Plenipotentiary at 

Madrid, 115. 
Steele, Sir Richard, 179. 
Strafford, Lady, 103. 
Stratford, Lord, 20. 

Suffolk, Lady. See Mrs. Howard. 
Sundon, Lady. See Mrs. Clayton. 
Swift, Dean, 162. 
Sylvine, Major, 124. 

TALBOT, Dr., 241. 

Tankerville, Lady, 280. 

Tankerville, Lord, 181. 

Titchburne, Mrs., 100, 336. 

Townshend, Lord, 113 ; and Wai- 
pole, 136 ; resignation, 140 ; and 
the Prince of Wales, 208. 

Trevor, Lady, 37. 

VANE, Miss, 212. 
Voltaire, 157. 

WAKE, Dr., 23. 

Walmoden, Madame de, 274, 300. 

Walpole, Lady, 15. 

Walpole, Sir Robert, dismissed, 5 ; 
reinstated, 15 ; and Caroline, 41 ; 
and Townshend, 136 ; at Hough- 
ton, 138 ; and literature, 160 ; 
and the Excise Scheme, 187 ; 
and the Church, 223 ; and 
Madame de Walmoden, 314 ; and 
Caroline's illness, 354. 

Walsingham, Lady, 25. 

Wentworth, Lord, 366. 

Wentworth, Peter, 108 ; and Caro- 
line, 121. 

Wesley, John, 239. 

Wharton, Duke of, 142. 

Widdrington, Lord, 100. 

Wigton, Lady, 98. 

Wilhelmina, Princess of Prussia, 86. 

William, Duke of Cumberland, 102. 

Wilson, 307. 

Wolfenbuttel, Duke of, and George 
I.'s will, 23 ; subsidy to, 48. 

Wyndham, 208. 

YARMOUTH, Countess of. See Wal- 

Yonge, Sir William, dismissed, u ; 
reinstated, 18.